PPG Minutes

Minutes from Patient Participation Group Meeting 13th December 2023


  • Dr Sophy Wollaston – GP Partner  (Chair)
  • Dawn Gaine, Practice Manager
  • IB - Patient
  • KF - Patient
  • JG & SG - Patients
  • JE - Patient
  • JEy - Patient
  • PAN - Patient


  • KI - Patient
  • SM - Patient
  • NT - Patient

Agenda Items

1. Welcome

Dr Wollaston welcomed new PPG member PAN to the group.

2. Staff Changes

Dawn Gaine is now settling into her role as Practice Manager now that David Currie has retired.

Donna Naran, our new Business Manager, has now started and she introduced herself to everyone briefly at the start of the meeting.

Jade McAllister has joined us as a part-time Care Navigator.  She came to the practice on a work placement arranged in conjunction with Islington Council and the Islington Training hub and we were pleased to be able to offer her a job at the end of this.

Geraldine Smyth and Brooke Cooper, two of our current Care Navigators (Receptionists) are now stepping out of reception for part of their working week and are undertaking Care Co-ordinator tasks which means that they undertake higher level administrative tasks to support the GPs and other members of the clinical team and to help particularly vulnerable patients navigate the systems.

3. Improving Access for Patients/GP Practice

Dawn Gaine explained that the Practice has an access group that has now started meeting again to look at our current surgery templates and appointment types and changes will be based on feedback from staff and patients.  Lots of practices now operate a total triage system whereby patients cannot book an appointment with a GP themselves but have to be triaged by a GP first.  River Place still offers patients the option to book up to 4 weeks ahead with a GP as well as offering online consultation (e-consult) and a duty doctor each day to deal with emergencies.  We still value our usual doctor system and encourage patients to see their own GP.  PAN commented that she felt it would be useful for patients to have a summary on their records of their conditions and how these affect them for if you see GP that does not know you.  Dr Wollaston explained that all patients have a problem list on their records which will list their current health conditions but that seeing your usual GP where possible meant that patients did not have to go through everything each time. 

JG commented that she valued seeing her own GP who knew her well.  KF commented that he always tries to see his usual GP as he knows him but sometimes there can be up to a month to wait for an appointment with him which is why you often end up having to see someone else.

It was acknowledged that routine appointments do get booked up quickly and we are continually looking at the numbers of appointment types offered so that we can try and get the balance right.  All patients agreed that they valued seeing the same GP for continuity and liked being able to book appointments and it was also acknowledged that most of our appointments are now face to face unless a patient has requested a telephone consultation.  A comment was made about how GPs manage with 10 minute appointments.  Dr Wollaston acknowledged that this was difficult and that is why it was important that the right patients were booked in with the GP and that some patients may be able to see a Nurse Practitioner or Pharmacist for their issue.  We also discussed the importance of educating people and to promote self-referral where appropriate.  Our website has lots of information and links for this.

4. Update on Mosaic Project 

Dr Wollaston gave an update on our new planned mosaic project following the success of last year’s one.  We are working again with the Hackney Mosaic Project which is a charity, and our new project will be to put mosaic vases of flowers on the concrete seats outside the centre.  We are hoping that this can be a joint project for staff and patients.  It is going to cost £5,000 and so far we have raised £3,000 of this so help is needed to raise the rest and we wondered if any of the PPG members had any ideas.  All agreed it would be good to ask local businesses along Essex Road for support/donations and KF and PAN were happy to help with this.  Many of these will have known Tony the flower seller well who had a stall where these mosaics will be and we hope these mosaics will act as a reminder of him.  We hope that members of the PPG can get involved with this when it is up and running.

5. Wellbeing

Dr Wollaston shared the news that the Practice had won a wellbeing award and that Dr David Egerton had also been nominated for an individual leadership award and had been highly commended.

6. AOB


JE brought up again the issues of lack of communication between hospitals and GPs – acknowledged that they do not talk to each other as they are on different IT systems and this often causes issues.


Next meeting

Dr Wollaston thanked everyone for attending the meeting and hoped they would attend our next meeting which will be at the end of March 2024.