Patient Participation Group

Posted by: kirstyrosier - Posted on:

NOTES OF ELSENHAM PPG MEETING ON 18TH OCTOBER 2023 taken by Janice McDonald chair of Stansted Patient Participation Group (PPG).

Present: Garry LeCount (chair), Teresa Buglass (practice manager), members of Elsenham PPG, Janice McDonald (chair Stansted PPG).

Teresa explained that the financial problems that Elsenham Surgery had last year have now been sorted, the money borrowed from Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board to help the critical period in Dec/Jan has now been paid back in full, and the surgery finances are in very good shape. Financial challenges still exist, as is the case within most GP Surgeries. Staff wage increases were announced by NHSE during the summer, but the funding to implement this has not yet been received. It is hoped that this will arrive at the end of October 2023. However, NHSE has reduced dispensing fees again (rather covertly) between Oct 23 and Mar 24. This time we are prepared for this and have put measures in place to reduce the impact of reduced dispensing fees on the wider surgery finances.

The partners from both Elsenham and Stansted surgeries have had a number of meetings, some with accountants, solicitors, the Integrated Care Board, and other stakeholders, and it has been decided that a merger would be beneficial for both surgeries. Permission of the Integrated Care Board (ICB) has been sought and given – so the merger will go ahead. Teresa explained that the merger will bring benefits from contracts with NHS, ICB etc.

The merger will even out overall staff compliments in a very favorable way. Elsenham currently has too many doctors for the funding available, but has a shortage of nursing hours (mostly as there is no space at Elsenham to extend nursing provision). Stansted Surgery is slightly overproviding nursing hours – to the merger will even both of these factors out very favorably.

Elsenham and Stansted patients will still be able to attend their own surgery to see a doctor or nurse, but some services will only be available at Stansted because of the size of the building, the availability of space, and particular infection control standards required for specific procedures.

There are very strict regulations that govern dispensing doctor’s dispensing licences – eligible patients must live in a designated rural area and live more than a mile from the nearest pharmacy. With the upcoming closure of Boots in Stansted, and the new Peacock Pharmacy, the dispensing radius may shift incrementally, but the impact on Elsenham Surgery’s dispensing patients should be very minimal.

Teresa does not think that the ICB would allow an increase in the dispensing boundary for Elsenham Surgery.

A license for a pharmacy next to Stansted Surgery has been approved, a pharmacist has been recruited and the new Peacock Pharmacy will open on 1st.November. It is foreseen that in the future the pharmacist will become a partner of the merged surgery, and director the Ltd Company that owns the dispensing license for Peacock Pharmacy. This is a bold and innovative decision by the Partners of Stansted and Elsenham Surgeries and will mean that the Pharmacist will have a personal interest and connection to our local population, and support our vision of integrated working. There are absolutely no plans to close the dispensary at Elsenham Surgery.

Teresa explained that she has serious concerns about the Elsenham Surgery premises. The building is too small and out of date for today’s needs and requirements for Primary Care. Three independent reports were commissioned: Fire, Health and Safety and Infection Control – the premises failed on all three inspections. She is now in negotiation with the landlords for a way forward. Funds will be needed to upgrade the premises and Teresa has been told there is no Section 106 money available. Garry agreed to look into this matter further. The vision is that the merged partnership buys the premises from the current landlords, and then upgrade and extend. The financial side of this is very daunting. Although no quotes have been obtained with regards to this project – with the cost of buying the premises, and the work required – an estimate of £1.5 to 2 million is not farfetched. Clearly this is a huge project, and will take time to negotiate and fund.

Teresa invited all present to join the celebration of the opening of the Peacock Pharmacy in Stansted on 4th November.

The next meeting will be a joint meeting of both Elsenham and Stansted PPGs. It will be on Wednesday 15th November at 2.15 sharp at The Memorial Hall in Elsenham.

November 28th, 2022

I met with some of the current Elsenham Patient Participation Group members on Wednesday evening. I am very grateful for their time, and for their support of the surgery.

We discussed some of the issues facing Elsenham Surgery at the moment, and the role of the Patient Participation Group.

We agreed that we do not have enough members, so we would like to invite patients to join us. Initially we will ask members to join us for a monthly meeting, and after the group have settled in with a Chairperson in place, we will move to two monthly meetings. We will try to alternate meetings between day and evening meetings, to help facilitate attendance.

We need patient’s support more than ever. If you are interested in joining, please email [email protected]

We will start collating names, with a view to have a meeting sometime in December.

Here is a useful video about Patient Participation Groups for those who want a little more information

Thank You

Teresa Buglass, Practice Manager. Stansted Surgery, and acting Practice Manager, Elsenham Surgery