Meeting Notes & Minutes




8th February 2024 Via Microsoft Teams

  • 1pm – 2pm with Dr Paul Ch’en, Dr Donya Baban and Jon Frank (Practice manager)


  • Elaine
  • Cicely
  • Wendy
  • Shelagh
  • Maggie
  • Diane
  • Kathy
  • Paul
  • Barbara
  • Diane
  • Tim
  • Christopher

Healthwatch Oxfordshire: Jaz Kundi

Apologies were received from:

  • Mike, Deirdre, Roger, and Barbara L.

1. Welcome

Elaine welcomed everyone to the meeting and welcomed Dr Baban who has just been made a partner at the practice.


2. Matters Arising

Botley Road closure and letter/response to Louise Upton

The letter to Councillor Louise Upton and her response was circulated with the agenda. Christopher has long standing knowledge and experience of working with local transport planning. He is a member of the Transport Planning Society.

He explained that there is no single organisation in the city that could provide a good solution. It would not be impossible to set up a car lift service to take patients to the Health Centre or the hospitals. It would need a volunteer organiser and at least one car. Issues such as insurance and DBI checks would have to be taken into consideration. There are some ‘ready made’ schemes that would be available. The other option that could be considered is car-sharing.

He is aware that the Vale of White Horse runs a scheme taking patients to GP practices and the hospitals.


  • What is the demand for this type of service?
  • Do we know how many patients live in the Botley area?
  • How would we assess the demand?
    • Perhaps the practice receptionists have an insight into the scale of the problem?
  • Do the 3 practices operating from Northgate have similar issues?

ACTION: Elaine to contact Northgate practice managers to see if this is an issue for them.


3. Meet Dr Baban

Dr Baban was welcomed. Her working days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. She also manages the pharmacy team – Clinical Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician.


4. Review of practice policies

The practice is reviewing various written policies. This is required as part of the CQC registration process. They wondered whether we would look at these from the patient viewpoint.

The first one they would like us to look at is the Chaperone Policy. At the moment there are some signs offering patients to have a chaperone if they would like one.

Dr Ch’en outlined some of their questions:

  • Should they ask every patient?
  • Should male doctors ask female patients?
  • Should female doctors ask female patients?
  • If more people take up the offer, do they have enough staff?
  • What training should staff have?

ACTION: PPG members to let Elaine know if they would like to review practice policies.


5. Patient Survey

Pre-Covid the PPG and the practice conducted an annual survey. Most of the questions were about access to appointments and patient satisfaction, although there was also a topical issue included. The survey was a mixture of on-line and paper based. The practice sent out a link to the survey website (over 18s) and PPG members handed out paper copies in the waiting room (over a period of a week.)

The costs of doing this via an on-line tool, such as Survey monkey have increased dramatically, and Elaine stated that she was no longer willing to pay for this. She has been in discussion with Healthwatch Oxfordshire (PPG Support Officer) who use a survey tool about whether they may allow us to use theirs. They will let us know if this is possible.

It was suggested that we retain some of the previous survey questions, to see any trends, and include a section on new types of communications – text messages, telephone consultations etc.

Several PPG members said that they have experience in drafting questionnaires and offered to help.

ACTION: PPG members to let Elaine know if they would like to participate in this project. It would probably require and initial face to face meeting.

NB Report from last survey (November 2017) and questions attached.



6. New clinical roles

We suggested that it would be useful if we could meet some of the staff working in new (to us) roles in the practice. These include:

  • Pharmacy team – clinical pharmacist and pharmacy technician
  • Social prescriber
  • MIND mental health worker
  • 1st contact Physiotherapist
  • Physician Associate – Ellie came to our October 2023 meeting

7. Medicines shortages

Dr Ch’en explained that there are a number of shortages of a range of medicines. Some of the issues are to do with Brexit, others are not. ADHD medication is due to a combination of manufacturing issues (?) and an increase in demand.

Shortages create extra work for the practice and local pharmacies. When pharmacies cannot obtain the medication indicated on the prescription, they contact the practice asking them to prescribe an alternative.

The list includes items such as antibiotic ear drops, some steroid creams, statins and diabetic medication (Ozempic).

On the plus side some HRT items are now back in stock.


8. Any Other Business

Primary Care Strategy

Elaine explained that she had been invited to a workshop (the token patient representative from Oxfordshire) which was working on the development of a primary care strategy for the Integrated Care System (health management) that covers Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire (BOB).

There is a draft strategy out for public consultation until the end of February 2024.

It is written in typical NHS management speak, and the main document consists of 55 slides. The summary document runs to 17 pages.

In a nutshell there are 3 main priorities:

  1. Triage patients, with non-complex problems, requesting same day access away from GPs and towards a wide range of other health/care/voluntary sector services. This service (called Same Day Access Hubs) will be provided across several practices. So, if you call the surgery and press the ‘same day access’ key you will be transferred to the Hub and will not speak to someone at the Observatory Medical Practice.
  2. Integrated Neighbourhood teams – for patients with more complex needs.
  3. Cardiovascular disease prevention – reducing the number of strokes by 290 and the number of heart attacks by 797 (a strange number) over 4 years. This is not due to start until April 2025.

Elaine explained that she was interested in getting patient views on the issue of Same Day Access Hubs. She feels that it will alter the patient:doctor relationship and some people may find it confusing. Since Covid we are more used to being triaged when we call the surgery. But this is by ‘our own’ surgery and many patients know the receptionists (or care co-ordinators) that they are talking to. The duty doctor call back system seems to work well for us.

This system will be at a larger scale, across several practices. It sounds as though it will be very similar to NHS111.

Practice Comments:

Dr Ch’en noted that they had discussed this topic at a recent partners meeting. They are not sure of their response. On the one-hand the duty doctor can often have to deal with up to 50 patients per day (this is a lot). But on the other hand, patients who can use digital platforms easily may have an advantage which allows them to ‘queue jump’. There is no easy answer but it is likely that there more digital platforms and ‘automation’ will be introduced.

ACTION: Elaine to draft short questionnaire to get patient views on Same Day Access Hubs. Jaz to circulate to other PPGs in Oxfordshire.

For anyone interested in looking at the consultation documents the link to all the papers and how to respond

Patient Access to Records

Kathy asked how this work is going on. The practice has to review the records before enabling full patient access. Jon replied that it is going relatively smoothly. 99.9% of records are easy, but the remaining 0.01% can be time consuming to sort out.


9. Date of next meeting

Date of next meeting to be agreed. We will try and meet face to face!