PPG Minutes: 4th October 2023



  • The Practice: DMC Chadwick Road Dulwich Medical Centre & DMC Crystal Palace Road Medical Centre
  • Date: Wed, 4th October 2023 
  • Time: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Location: DMC Chadwick Road Surgery
  • Attendees: Practice Manager, Operational Manager, Business Support Assistant
  • Apologies: Patients 4

Agenda Items

5:30pm Welcome


5:32pm Review Previous Minutes 

Patient ‘Go Digital’ Project: 

One patient was concerned about the large number of apps that patients are expected to be on. There are lots of different applications that healthcare providers are using, it may take some time for the less useful ones to fall out of use and for everything to settle down. However, from a patient's access to information standpoint, this will be beneficial. ‘Go Digital’ is about interactive engagement with patients and helping them to be comfortable with using digital health services, following what the NHS wants healthcare providers to do. 

5:35pm Patient Survey (produced in-house at DMC) 

Feedback from Patient survey has improved a lot, much fewer complaints surrounding the quality of admin responses at the front desk. 

There are two types of survey: the postal survey, and the survey produced in-house at DMC that admin staff hand patients to complete in person. Up to 50 of the latter are handed out and completed each month per site. 

There have been a few CQC visits over the last few months. We were issued warning notices for both sites. In recent feedback from the CQC focused inspection visit, while both still require improvement, the results have been much better. The reason we are still logged as required improvement is because of our levels of ordered immunisations and smear targets. Though we are on par with our colleagues in london with this, we are below the national average. 

ICB gave us a remedial notice in October last year, which has now been revoked. Both practices are now doing well and continuously improving. 

5:45pm Website

DMC are having internal meetings to make the website more user-friendly and informative. 

5:50pm EPCS (Extended Primary Care Service)

Not discussed within the meeting. 

5:55pm Speak about our PCN staffs 

PCN are giving us a lot more staff, in addition to who we are hiring, helping to increase the capacity in primary care. 

6:00pm Patient Free talk


  • Occasional problem with the pharmacists where they say that prescriptions haven't been sent through to them, when the GP says that they have. In this situation, patients can call the GP to get a barcode which is issued when the prescription is sent to the pharmacy. 
  • Communication between local pharmacies and GPs needs to improve. Pharmacies are currently under a lot of stress. 
  • It would be nice to have a meeting similar to this where the process of GPs sending prescriptions and the pharmacist receiving them is broken down to find where the sticking points are. 

 Action for DMC: invite the pharmacist Austin, from  Ropharm Chemist on Rye Lane to the next PPG meeting. 

Admin staff: 

  • Despite some problems in the past, current reception staff are very helpful. 
  • As we have a lot of new patients coming through the door, to make sure that we have not missed any important parts of their data, we now have a member of the admin staff sitting in the waiting area to talk to patients. We call this care coordination, and we are introducing it to make it easier for patients to get the information they need. 

Reviewing notes: 

  • This can be done on patient access. 
  • The NHS is currently working to digitize old written notes so that they can be accessed by patients. 

 Action for DMC: find out how to escalate the topic of patients having access to their records. 

Issues with low attendance: 

  • ANPs, nurses, and HCAs have been struggling to fill their clinics. 
  • This has improved a lot in the past couple of months due to improving how we communicate with patients about their appointments. 

Locum Doctors: 

  • We have been finding it difficult to get in more permanent staff. The CQC rating of ‘requires improvement’ does not help with this. Ravi has been asking for this rating to be amended. 
  • There are a few doctors who are working for us as locums who we are planning to ask if they would like to convert to working for us full time. 
  • Most doctors want to work as locums as they are paid much more than if they were working full time. 
  • We are fully staffed. The locums we have are here on a regular basis. 

 Appropriate use of GP appointments: 

  • We want to avoid patients seeing the doctor unnecessarily.  
  • For instance, if a patient has a blood test and everything is fine, these results can be discussed over the phone rather than in person. 
  • We try to book patients in with other practitioners, such as ANPs, if appropriate. 

COVID Jabs: 

  • Vaccines are rolling out in age groups. 

6:15pm Any Other Business

Consider having a focus day on the digitization of care. This will help us to talk in detail about whether everyone can afford and use the necessary devices and apps, without running out of time.


Additional Information

  • Turnover time for prescription requests. 
  • IT Refresh 
  • Onboarding 

Date of Next Meeting  

  • 24th January 2024, 5:30pm to 6:30pm at Chadwick Road Surgery