What is a Patient Participation Group (PPG)?
A Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to improve the service.
What is the purpose of the PPG?
- To give patients and practice staff the opportunity to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest.
- To provide a means for patients to become more involved and make suggestions about the healthcare services they receive.
- To explore issues from patient complaints and patient surveys, contribute to actions plans and help monitor improvements.
- To contribute feedback to the practice on National Patient Survey results and Friends and Family Test feedback to propose developments or change.
- To support health awareness and patient education
What our PPG looks like:
There are currently 9 members of the PPG at Henley Medical Centre. The group meets, on average, 4 times a year. At those meeting topics from new initiatives being introduced within all healthcare settings to changes within the surgery are discussed. Patient feedback is also exchanged at the meeting which can very informative and can actually influence how the service is provided.
A PPG is open to every patient on our GP practice list. All communities, groups, genders, ages, ethnicities, and disabilities representing the patient list are encouraged to join. Membership of patients from the surrounding villages we serve as well as from Henley itself are welcome to join. There are no other membership requirements except that patients must be registered with our practice and be over 16 years of age.
If are interested in becoming a member of our PPG you can complete a registration form on our practice website. If you would like to make contact with a current PPG member a contact list is available upon request from reception.
Recording of Patients Ethnicity Data
There is a push within the NHS to record a patient’s ethnicity within their GP record.
Recording such data not only provides an indication of the quality of data recording, but also because it is essential to have accurate population-based treatment and disease rates for ethnic groups.
Why does the NHS need to know my ethnicity?
Everyone belongs to an ethnic group so all our patients and service users are being asked to describe their ethnic group. We collect this information to help the NHS: Understand the needs of patients and service users from different groups and so provide better and more appropriate services for you.
Henley Medical Centre will shortly be commencing a data collection project in relation to this by sending out a text message to our patients. Patients are asked to simply complete their information via this text. Patients should not feel obligated to state their ethnicity if they prefer not to do so.
Introducing 2 new GP Trainees to the team
As many of you will know, Henley is a training practice. As a training practice we accommodate and provide training for doctors during their time in speciality training. These doctors are either placed with us for 4, 6 or 12 months then move on.
Dr Awais is our current trainee and will complete her rotation with us in February 2023.
In addition to Dr Awais, August we welcome another 2 new trainees to the team: Dr Akbar and Dr Ha. Dr Akbar will be with us for 4 months as an ST1 (in his 1st year of speciality training) and Dr Ha will be with us for 12 months (in his 3rd and final year of speciality training).
A little reminder of what a GP trainee is: all of the GP trainees who are attached to the Practice will have completed a minimum of two years of hospital posts after qualifying as a Doctor, often more. Doctors are now required to work for two years as “Foundation Doctors” before entering specialist GP training. Specialist training in General Practice is currently three years.
We will be looking to start offering flu vaccinations from October 2022. Appointments will be available to book soon.
South Warwickshire GP Federation, on behalf of the Arden Primary Care Network, will be contacting our patients to invite eligible patients for vaccination
The following groups are eligible for this Spring Covid Vaccination program:
- 4th dose for 75+ patients – ideally at 6 months after the last dose, but we can book from 3 months.
- 12+ immunosuppressed patients – 4th dose from 91 days after third dose
- 12-15 year olds Booster for the at risk group - for those aged 12-15 from 91 days after last dose.
- 5-11 year old healthy patients – 2 doses 12 weeks apart. Must wait 12 weeks after a Covid infection.
Our patients will be offered appointments at the following clinics:
- Studley Village Hall (over 75’s only)
- Southam Clinic
- Lomas Suite in Stratford
Appointments can be booked in the following ways:
- Call 119
- Online via the National Booking Service: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
- Via Option 5 on our surgery telephone line
Henley Medical Centre continues to work in a COVID safe environment to ensure that the care and safety of both staff and patients is protected at all times. Patients visiting the surgery should be aware that NHS Guidelines state that face coverings still need to be worn in all healthcare settings. The surgery will continue to offer a mix of appointment types including telephone and online consultations as well as face to face appointments.
February saw Dr Chauhan leave us. Dr Chauhan was our ST3 registrar, in his 3rd year of speciality training to be a GP. He has now moved on to take up a permanent role in another local GP practice.
Dr Awais re-joined the practice in February after being on maternity leave. Dr Awais is also completing her speciality training with us and will work in our practice until February 2023.
Patient Participation Group
We have had a patient participation group for over 10 years. This group is made up of volunteer patients, the practice manager and one or more of the GPs from the practice. The group meets meet on a regular basis to discuss the services on offer, and how improvements can be made for the benefit of patients and the practice. The aim is to ensure that patients, their families and carers are represented and heard from at all stages of their treatment.
Anyone who is a patient of the surgery can join the group. Everyone has different experiences and can bring different ideas to the surgery which is important.
For anyone interested in becoming a member of our PPG a registration form is available on our practice website: https://www.henley-in-ardenmedcntr.co.uk/patientgroup . A list of current PPG members is also available from reception upon request.
Amanda Taylor, Practice Manager
In February, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised a spring dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for:
- adults aged 75 years and over
- residents in care homes for older adults
- individuals aged 12 years and over who have a weakened immune system
The NHS will contact those who are eligible to make a spring booster appointment, so people should wait until they hear from the NHS. The NHS will prioritise those whose clinical need is greatest, as it has throughout, starting with those who have had a bigger gap since their last dose, then working through the cohort to invite others who have waited less time. Everyone who is eligible will be offered a top up between three and six months over the Spring and early Summer.
Vaccinations for 5-11 year-olds at-risk
- The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that 5 to 11-year-olds who are either in a clinical risk group or are a ousehold contact of someone who is immunosuppressed should be offered two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, with a minimum interval of eight weeks.
- This means around half a million children nationally will soon be invited to take up their jab.
- The JCVI has set out criteria for determining who should be offered vaccination within this group and clinicians will be responsible for identifying children in their care who are eligible.
- Information on eligibility can be found in the Green Book, chapter 14a in the section on children aged 5-11 years and tables 3 and 4.
How will I know if my child is eligible?
- GPs and hospital specialists have been asked to identify 5 to 11-year-olds who are eligible. For children eligible as a household contact, we will write directly to the person who is immunosuppressed.
- Parents and guardians will be notified if their child should get the vaccine and told how they can book an appointment. The NHS will be in touch in the coming weeks if your child is eligible, so it’s important that parents wait to hear from us and do not contact their GP.
In order to protect yourselves, your families and the NHS please ‘grab a covid vaccine jab’.
You can book your booster jab …or indeed your first or second jab using the links below. You may also get a text message from your local GP offering appointments
Don’t delay …BOOK NOW
The NHS vaccination programme will offer every adult the chance to book a covid-19 booster vaccine by the end of the year to protect the nation against the Omicron variant.
As part of the biggest and fastest vaccine programme in health service history, online bookings are available for all those in their 30s and above from today.
The best way to get your vaccine is by booking online at www.nhs.uk or by calling 119 – please do keep checking availability as appointments are loaded onto the system every day. The website and phoneline are understandably very busy and we thank you for your patience when booking.
The national booking service will then open up to everyone aged 18 and over from Wednesday this week.
The NHS is prioritising bookings for boosters and is urging people to book a slot to guarantee their vital jab. Some sites offer walk-in appointments where no appointment is needed. Please check here for clinics with walk-in availability and their opening hours www.happyhealthylives.uk/vaccinationdrop-ins
GP teams have been asked to clinically prioritise their services to free up maximal capacity to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, alongside delivering critical appointments such as cancer, urgent and emergency care. This might mean that for some people, routine appointments are postponed as part of the national mission to roll out boosters.
Scientists are very concerned about the spread of Omicron due to the speed with which it spreads and because two doses do not appear to provide much protection but thankfully, a booster dramatically improves this.That is why the Government has asked the NHS to prioritise boosters over other routine care.
We appreciate your support and understanding – and urge you to come forward for your vaccination as soon as possible.
EMIS Health have received reports from both Patient Access users and people who have never registered for the service, that they have received Covid passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access.
They would like to share the following guidance from Patient Access:
- EMIS Health advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender; all emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com.
- EMIS Health advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security
- EMIS Health strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.
- Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. They do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.
The school flu vaccination programme is going ahead this year. All schools will have completed their flu clinics by the end of the year. Some clinics have been pushed back slightly to accommodate the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination clinics that are currently taking place in schools. There is no need to contact your GP about the school flu vaccination programme – you will hear from your school as usual in due course.
Please check the link below for latest information on staff update, Covid and Flu boosters and other surgery updates.
You may have received a text from the NHS national booking service to book your Covid-19 booster vaccination.
Please be assured your local vaccination team will also be providing this service and will be in touch very soon so there is no need to contact your GP practice.
And don’t forget your booster will only be given six months after your second dose.
We look forwards to seeing you soon at your local vaccination centre.
The government has announced that all children aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Invitations for the vaccine are expected to begin next week (20-26 September).
The vaccination programme for this age group will be delivered through schools, not via GP practices. Parents and guardians of those eligible will be contacted when it’s their turn to get the vaccine.
Covid-19 booster jabs are expected to be offered to eligible groups in the coming weeks. The booster jab should be given at least six months after your second dose of the vaccine.
The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to get the booster vaccine, so please don’t contact the NHS. If you are invited, it is vital you attend so that you have the best possible protection against Covid-19.
Patients eligible to receive a free flu vaccination include: all patients 50 years and over (including those becoming age 50 by 31 March 2022), those with chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease, diabetes, those who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatments, pregnant women, the morbidly obese, people in long stay residential homes, carers and health and household contacts of immunocompromised individuals, frontline health and social care worker.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to have a flu vaccination, you can contact our reception for advice.
Childhood flu immunisations
Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2021 – that is, children born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019 along with children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions will be invited to attend the surgery to receive a nasal flu vaccination.
Flu immunisation clinic set up
NHS Health settings are still obliged to follow Covid-19 restrictions as detailed below:
- Patients MUST NOT attend if they have a high temperature or new continuous cough or loss of sense of smell/taste
- Patients are asked not to arrive early
- Patients will wait outside the surgery prior to their appointment
- All patients must wear a face mask and will be asked to use the hand gel provided when entering the building
- Only patients with an appointment will be seen
- Patients are asked to ensure they wear a short-sleeved top for ease of access to the very top of the arm
- There will be a one-way system in operation, entering through the front door and leaving via the side door
- Patients are asked to refrain from asking for any other service during the flu clinics
For more detailed information about flu vaccinations please visit NHS Website.
A supplier to the NHS has advised us of a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.
Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems will still get one, but where your clinician recommends that it’s safe to do so, then you may be asked to come back for a test at a later date, or your appointment may be rescheduled.
Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when the test will be rescheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be re-booking your test when supplies become more easily available.
If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.
You may have seen in national news items that the Government are considering extending the vaccine offer to 16 - 17 year olds.
There is nothing you need to do now - you will be contacted and invited for your vaccination as soon as the programme is up-and-running.
We are currently waiting for the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to update and publish. We are also currently awaiting guidance on the vaccination of 12 - 17 year old clinically vulnerable children and will be in touch as and when we have further information.
The current NHS Digital (NHSD) extract of GP data for Research purposes (known as the GPDPR) has been delayed due to NHSD wishing to review the way in which this data will be collected, to conduct more public involvement and information about the plans and change the way in which patients can opt out of the extract of their GP data.
Currently the only way to opt out is to complete a Type 1 opt out form and return this to the practice. There was a deadline of the 1st September but this deadline has been removed (see below):
However, this extract will not be taken until the NHSD have changed the way it will take the data and respect the patient’s choice for using their data. NHSD are introducing the following changes to the opt outprocess which will mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:
- Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1st September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded.
- NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out.
- The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian.
This means that you can opt out at any time in the future and NHSD will delete data that they already have taken for research purposes, the deadline of the 01/09/2020 has been delayed until a new system of opt out is developed. Hopefully, this will be a simple centralised approach via the NHS app or NHS website to avoid paper form and administration work for your GP.
We will update you when we know more about the NHSD plans to change how you can control who has access to your data.
For further information on this - please click here.
The highest priority for the NHS remains the safety of staff, patients and visitors. While COVID restrictions will end in many settings in England from 19 July, everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering (unless they are exempt) and follow social distancing rules.
Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are therefore set to remain in place for all staff and visitors and across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dentists, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.
Read the infection prevention control guidance for further details.
Following the latest government announcement this week on the ‘Roadmap to Recovery’, we felt that it was important to inform you we will be continuing to follow the current infection prevention guidance set out by Public Health England (PHE) from 19th July.
In summary, this means:
It will still be a requirement for our patients to wear face coverings when attending the practice, unless exempt. These should be always kept on until instructed otherwise by our staff.
Social distancing will still be enforced; we will continue to spread out appointments and continue to arrange the practice so that social distancing can be maintained, where applicable.
Hand sanitiser will remain available throughout the practice.
We are in unanimous agreement that we should continue to follow our COVID-19 secure measures for now. This is backed by the British Medical Association who have, along with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England (RPS) and the Royal College of Nursing, are calling for face masks to be mandatory in healthcare settings.
Public Health England have made it clear that its current infection prevention control (IPC) guidance is to remain in place for healthcare settings and both patient and staff safety must remain the highest priority. Many of our patients remain vulnerable to COVID-19 and thus believe it would be irresponsible of us put the health of them and our staff at risk by removing our current control measures too hastily.
Patients wishing to register a Type 1 Opt out from the NHS Digital General Practice Data for Planning and Research collection which starts on 1st September 2021, should download this form and return it to the Practice.
More information on this data collection can be found here.
Covid-19 vaccination: Don’t call us, we will call you
We are vaccinating in line with the guidance set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), who decide the order in which people should be vaccinated. The poster attached demonstrates the top priority groups.
The focus currently is on vaccinating groups 1 – 4 (in order from the top priority downwards) and GPs are working tirelessly to offer the vaccine to eligible groups as quickly as possible. The top four priority groups are:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- All those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 18 years of age)
When it is your turn to receive the vaccine, you will be contacted and invited to attend an appointment. You may receive an invite to attend the following sites, but you have a choice about which to attend:
- Mass vaccination centre – Birmingham Millennium Point or NAEC Stoneleigh Centre
Local vaccination site – if you cannot travel to a mass vaccination centre, you can wait to be contacted by the South Warwickshire GP Federation or Local Vaccination Hub to attend a local vaccination site. Details of the local vaccination sites can be found on the CCG’s website.
- Hospital – in or out hospital patients may be offered the vaccine at a hospital hub
If you are in priority cohorts 1 – 4 and have not been contacted by Wednesday 17 February, please contact your GP to let them know. Please do not contact your GP about the vaccine before this date.
If you have already received your first vaccination, you will receive another invitation to receive your second dose within three months of having your first vaccine. This is in line with national guidance, and more information on this decision can be found on the Government’s website.
If you have any questions, please view the Frequently Asked Questions page on the CCG’s website (NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group - Your Health - FAQs ).
Please check this leaflet for important information to keep you safe while isolating at home.