Meeting Notes & Minutes




23rd September 2020 Via Microsoft Teams


  • Fiona Boyle  (Practice)
  • Jon Frank (practice)
  • Elaine Cohen 
  • Joyce Leech
  • Mike Meldrum
  • David Ryan
  • Roger Smith
  • Trudy Watt    


  • Kathy Archer 
  • Derek Day
  • Christopher Gowers
  • Cicely Havers
  • Barbara Peacock
  • David Ryan
  • Christopher Ward


Everyone was welcomed to the group.  This was our first time meeting ‘virtually’ so apologies for some of the technology hitches.

General views of patient experience in accessing services

Several people commented on how helpful the reception staff have been in the last few months.  There has generally been a quick response to requests.  

The group thought that the email requesting updates to your weight/blood pressure etc. was a good idea and many responded.

In answer to a question on needing to be seen urgently Dr Boyle explained that all urgent requests were passed to the Duty Doctor for assessment.  Problems could be dealt with by telephone, but if a face to face consultation was necessary it would be arranged.  It was suggested that a definition of what might be considered urgent would be useful.

However, follow-up, which might be by another doctor has been less speedy.  Dr Boyle agreed that this has been an issue for the practice.

Telephone access

Jon noted that as people need to book a specific slot for their flu vaccination this year, the phones were sometimes overwhelmed in the morning with the additional volume of calls.

How will things work this winter

Dr Boyle noted that NHS guidance was saying the consultations should be by phone or video wherever possible, and that face to face consultations should only be done where necessary.

Flu vaccinations

Both practices at the Health Centre are running special flu clinics.  Unlike other years these have to be booked as appointments.  Patients will be checked in by a receptionist at the door and be directed to a vaccination table in the waiting room.  They will then exit by the back door.

Routine long-term condition reviews:

Diabetes: These will be done by Katrina.  Blood specimens will be taken at the surgery, but the second appointment will be done by phone.

Respiratory conditions (asthma/COPD):  These will also be done by phone – please note that spirometry will not be part of the check-up as this is an aerosol generating procedure.

Children/Pregnancy care:
Health visitors -  About half the team were redeployed they are now back to working as health visitors but again on a very reduced schedule and a lot done remotely. They are working out of the children's services building on South Parade.
Midwives were redeployed -  they have just started working from the hospital and far more is being done virtually. They are back in the practice now but on a reduced 'covid' contact schedule
Children vaccinations are still being done as before – routine vaccinations are being done in surgery.  The practice is very keen that any children who may have fallen behind in their vaccination schedule make an appointment to catch up.

National Screening Programmes
Most of the national screening programmes were suspended earlier this year.  Most have started again.  A full list can be found on the NHS website

  • Diabetic eye screening but priority is being given to some patients (pregnant, not had a test before or previous tests showed a high risk).
  • Bowel Cancer home tests – these have not yet resumed
  • Cervical Cancer – these are done by the practice and are available
  • Breast Cancer – services have now resumed but priority is being given to some patients at a higher risk

Children with a fever
There are special clinics for adults with suspected COVID-19, and patients will be directed to these via their practice or the NHS 111 service.  However,  these clinics may not have the capacity to see children with a fever.  The practice, along with Dr Lever and partners, is looking at the logistics of how to see children with a fever.  They will need to have a separate pathway through the practice and an isolation room.  

Referrals to hospital
Many services at the hospital are now taking routine referrals again.  However, there are some departments that are still not doing so, such as Ear Nose & Throat, and ophthalmology.

ACTION: We agreed that the PPG would produce an information leaflet on how care will work over the winter, with a separate ‘insert’ on children.  PPG members offered their support in circulating any information to their various community networks.

Digital access – econsult

Elaine asked the practice what their approach to ‘econsult’ was.  eConsult is part of the NHS 10 year plan to improve digital access to healthcare.  It is an online programme where you can fill in your symptoms.  The practice can then review this and will get back to you with advice or an appointment as appropriate.

Elaine reported that some practices in Oxford are asking the majority of patients to use it as their first contact with the practice.  There has been some feedback from other PPGs that it is not always easy to use, especially for older people and those without access to technology and can be a barrier to access.

The practice said that it is on their website, but they are not promoting its use more widely for the reasons above.  If a patient completes it, the report generated will be seen by the practice but that there may be a delay in response.  They recommend that if you need advice you should contact the practice by phone as usual.

Primary Care Network (PCN) / OxFed Update

OxFed is a local federation of the practices in Oxford.  It provides a range of services, including the weekend and evening clinics (both at the practice and from Manzil Way).  Because of the organisational changes in the health service, and the introduction of Primary Care Networks, it will be winding down at the end of March.

It is not clear how these services will continue from April, but the practice is working with the other practices locally to see how they will provide these themselves.

Date to next meeting to be agreed