Cheam Family Practice, Sutton, Surrey.

Patient Participation Group

A message from Michael Pitcher, chair of CFP Patient Participation Group

Dear All,

I am writing this message as both Chair of The Cheam Family Practice Patients Group, but also the wider London Borough of Sutton Patients Reference Group. The latter includes patient representatives of all 23 Sutton GP Practices.

Earlier this evening you may have seen the Prime Minister giving a television broadcast about the increased number of Covid infections and the spread of the Omicron variant. It seems that Omicron is far more infectious and likely to spread than the earlier variants. Whilst it is unclear whether it is likely to cause serious illness, the high number of infections, mean that even if only a small percentage are seriously ill, this can lead to a significant number of people in hospital. This puts a huge strain on the NHS.

The arguments and case for vaccination are overwhelming. Having the third booster dose of the vaccine will significantly reduce the chance of serious illness. Even the original one or two doses make a difference. The Government have now made booster jabs available to everyone over the age of 18 by the end of December. Here in Sutton, our Practices are placing a huge emphasis on making the vaccine available. Rather than carrying out the vaccinations individually, the Practices are working together within their Primary Care Networks to develop a hub, with vaccination centres in the Thomas Wall Centre, and the St Nicholas Shopping Centre, Central Sutton. More information can be found at: or telephone the Covid Hotline on 119. Look out for the walk in and pop-up centres near you.

Having any of the vaccine jabs and particularly the booster will make a huge difference – not just to you, but also your family, friends and loved ones. Please make the time – do it when doing your Christmas Shopping, just when you are out and about. It is not too late to have your first jab.

The Government have raised the Covid Alert State to Level 4. They have also moved to ‘Plan B’.  I saw recently the other real Plan B:

·         B safe (know the guidance).

·         B caring (look after your loved ones, friends, and colleagues).

·         B inclusive (this world is better, much better, for its diversity!).

·         B interested (how are you today? No really…).

·         B flexible (focus on the person and your/their support structures).

·         B innovative (in these times, fortune favours the brave).

·         B curious (what have I learnt today?).

·         B kind (you’ve no idea (probably) what’s going on for people).

And above all B vaccinated!

Thank you to all of the amazing people that work in our GP Practices.

Have a happy, safe, and healthy Christmas.

Michael Pitcher

On behalf of all CFP patients, please can I say a huge thank you, and how incredibly proud we all are of everything that you and all members of the Practice do on our behalf.

Welcome to the Patient Participation Group

 Cheam Family Practice Patient Participation Group are looking for new members. If you would like to join or would like more information about what is involved, please contact the surgery


As Chair of the Cheam Family Practice Patient Participation Group, I am pleased to introduce and welcome you to the Patient Participation Group webpage on the CFP Website. The PPG gives our patients the opportunity to participate in and influence services within the Practice. We are a small group of patients (target number 12-15) from the Gander Green Lane and The Knoll, Cheam Surgeries, and we are planning to create a much larger ‘virtual’ on-line group to be involved in the work, who act as critical friends of the Practice.  You may have seen or completed the recent patient’s survey. We will share the information from this here on the website and on notice boards within the surgeries and will discuss the information obtained to see how we can work with the Practice to improve the services and care that it gives our patients. We can improve the things we do less well, and celebrate the things that are good, but strive to do even better.

This webpage will give us the opportunity to share with you matters of interest to patients, both those who are well and those not so well. These may be practical things like how easy and accessible the Practice is, as well as services that you would like to see available within the Practice. It will include matters specific to CFP, as well as healthcare across Sutton. The PPG does not replace the Practice complaints procedure, nor does it discuss or become involved in personal cases, but we would like to hear about lessons to be learned or your ideas for change. You will also find our terms of reference, meeting dates and meeting action notes here.

If you would like to learn more about the Group we would love to hear from you. Please ask at reception for more information.

Michael Pitcher
Cheam Family Practice
Patient Participation Group
Feb 2019

Patient Participation Group

 If you have any suggestions for the Patient Participation Group please hand them into reception for the attention of the Practice Manager. Further information is also available on the website


Cheam Family Practice is looking for patients to sit on our Patient Participation Group.

The group is there to advise the Practice on patients’ views regarding the development of the Practice and allow the Practice to consider patients’ views when reviewing and expanding services.

By leaving your email details, we can contact you every now and again to ask you a question or two about the services that we offer.

If you are interested in being an email contact please complete the contact form and return to reception.

Patient Survey 2017-2018

From December 2017 to January 2018 Cheam Family Practice surveyed our patients concerning their overall perception of CFP, the ease with which patients can make appointments, and the level of care they received. Patients were asked to give a mark out of 10, with 10 being the best.

There were 37 responses and the average results were as follows:
  • Perception of CFP was 8.8
  • Ease of making appointments was 7.6
  • Level of care was 9.1.
There was a slight variation between our sites which can be attributed to differences between the buildings and the patient list sizes which mean it can be easier to obtain an appointment at Gander Green Lane and parking is more straight forward, but that the building and clinics at Cheam are slightly better. We are very grateful to those who took the time to respond and will continue to review comments (indeed whenever they are received) to improve the service we provide wherever possible.

Patients may know from a further, larger survey conducted in Autumn 2018 for that purpose, that Cheam Family Practice would like to build a brand new, larger, combined and improved surgery and are in discussions with Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group and the NHS to bring this about. While very keen that this should happen, any development is realistically a long way in the future, and we will keep patients appraised of any progress.

Patients with any queries about Patient Surveys or indeed any matters relating to the running of Cheam Family Practice are welcome to contact the surgery.

Commissioning feedback

The Patient Participation Group is concerned about what the ‘person on the street’ is saying about local healthcare, what really matters to people as patients?  What do people want to see being provided in the community? What would they like to suggest to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)?

Areas to focus on; hospital care, mental health services, and providing services outside the hospital environment and in the community. What could the CCG do more locally which is still high quality but involves less travel/need to go to a hospital? Where or how could the CCG provide services more locally e.g. at GP surgeries, at Clinics, the Jubilee Health Centre, through Pharmacies etc.? How could long term conditions be managed more successfully and how could health and social care services be better integrated?

Pharmacy feedback

1. How can the Clinical Commissioning Group use the services offered by community pharmacies better (either current or potential new services) to deliver our commissioning priorities to keep patients out of hospital, out of hours care, improve access to GPs, and promote self-care?

2. How do we raise awareness of the services that Community Pharmacies offer (high street and internet pharmacies)?

Patient Participation Group Report 2014-2015

Designing Cheam Family Practice Patients' Charter

The initial idea
At a Patient Participant Group meeting last year, we discussed the idea of drafting a Patients’ Charter for the practice. Many other GP practices already have a Charter which patients and staff members can use as a starting point for understanding the standards and commitments from both the practice and patients.

What is a Patients’ Charter?
On carrying out some initial research into what might be included in our Charter, I felt it was important to understand what the Charter should include and what it was for. Patient Charters are there to outline the standards of practice for the benefit of patients (essentially the values that underpin all of our patient care and treatment); the commitments of the practice (what we can expect as a patient); and the rights and responsibilities of the patients (understanding what we need to do as patients in order that the practice can look after us effectively). This document enables all patients to get the most out of the practice.

How was it designed?
After looking at Charters from other healthcare practices and developing an understanding of the values for the running of Cheam Family Practice, I put together an initial draft of what I felt was important for inclusion in the Charter. These ideas were discussed at our Patient Participant Group, where representatives made suggestions for improvements and inclusions. The Charter which the patient group felt best reflected the needs of both the patients and the partners was then finalised and sent to the Partners for consideration and formal approval.

What’s in the Charter and where can I find it?
The Charter outlines the Practice Aims and the Practice Commitment to Patients. It also notes that the Practice promises to try its very best for patients at all times. The document also lists the expectations of patients; including the need to respect the staff, provide updates to personal information, and be mindful of timekeeping for attending and cancelling appointments (we felt this was of particular importance as we know that sometimes it is difficult to get an appointment). The document also encourages patients to provide feedback on improvements that could be made by the practice. You can find a copy of the full Charter on the website and in waiting areas.

Future Use of the Charter
The Charter provides a baseline of what we can expect from the practice and what we, as patients, need to take responsibility for. Whilst it is in no way an exhaustive list of responsibilities and expectations, it does provide a picture of the values that underpin the practice. It can be used as a useful starting point for any discussions that you might have with members of staff, and can also be used by the practice to remind us of our responsibilities as patients.

Patient Charter

Out of hours Emergencies:
We will do everything possible to ensure that our system for contacting the duty doctor is easy to follow, reliable and effective.

Waiting Times:
  • We aim to start surgeries on time.
  • We expect patients to be seen within twenty minutes of their appointment time, and in the event of a delay we will offer an explanation.
  • To limit unplanned extended waiting times for patients we request patient’s presenting complex or multiple conditions request a double appointment.
  • When a doctor is called away on an emergency we will inform the patients and give them an opportunity to book an alternative appointment, or if preferred, to be seen by another doctor if available.
With these rights come responsibilities and for the patients this means: 

In Return we expect you to:
  • Courtesy to the staff at all times - remember they are working to doctors' orders.
  • Responding in a positive way to questions asked by the reception staff. 
  • To attend appointments on time; in consideration of our other patients we reserve the right to cancel your appointment if you are more 15 minutes late.
  • To give the practice adequate notice that they wish to cancel.   Someone else could use your appointment!
  • An appointment is for one person only - where another member of the family needs to be seen or discussed, another appointment should be made and the Medical Record be made available.
  • Patients should make every effort when consulting the surgery to make best use of clinician and nursing time – discussing the most urgent matter with the clinician first.
  • Patients wishing to discuss more than one problem should make a double appointment.
  • Home visits should be medically justifiable and not requested for social convenience.
  • When patients are asked to give 48 hours’ notice for repeat prescriptions, please give us this time as it is to allow for accurate prescribing.
  • Out-of-hours calls (e.g. evenings; nights & weekends) should only be requested if they are felt to be truly necessary and an emergency.
  • Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times whilst visiting the Surgery; and supervised to ensure their behaviour does not cause harm or distress to other patients or themselves

Our surgery team is dedicated to the achievement of patient centred, quality health services that meet our patient's requirements. 

Surgery Premises

We aim to take all reasonable measures to meet the access needs of our patients, including patients with restricted mobility and sensory impairment.

Patients' rights to General Medical Services:

Patients have a right to: 


  • be registered with a GP Practice.
  • be assigned a named GP.
  • change to another GP Practice
  • be offered a health check on joining the Practice
  • receive emergency care at any time from the Practice
  • receive appropriate drugs and medicines
  • be referred for a specialist or a second opinion if they and the GP agree.
  • be allowed to choose where the referral takes place, if a choice exists.
  • view and receive copies of their medical records, subject to the relevant legislative Acts;
  • know that staff who are employed at the Surgery have a legal obligation to keep the contents of medical records and personal information confidential.
Changes to our services
When changes are introduced to Practice services that affect patients, we will ensure that these are clearly explained, by means of our Practice Leaflet; website, waiting room notice-board, newsletter or individual leaflets.  We endeavour to give as much notice as is practicable.
Repeat Prescriptions
Prescription requests are subject to the approval of a GP. Prescriptions will be processed within 48 (working hours) for collection by the patient or local pharmacy as appropriate.

  • Urgent referrals to other health and social care agencies will be made within one working day of the patient consultation. 
  • We will normally process non-urgent referrals within five working days of the patient consultation or the doctor's decision to refer.
  • Patients may request copies of referrals.
Test Results
When a doctor or nurse arranges for a test to be taken the patient will be informed how to obtain the result.  Our reception staff will only provide information regarding routine results after 11am daily when they have been signed off by the Practitioner.
Transfer or Medical Records
When a doctor or nurse arranges for a test to be taken the patient will be informed how to obtain the result.  Our reception staff will only provide information regarding routine results after 11am daily when they have been signed off by the Practitioner.
Privacy and Confidentiality 
We will respect our patients' privacy, dignity and confidentiality at all times.
We do not share your information with any other party unless you have given expressed consent to do so: a leaflet explaining how your information is handled is available from reception.

  • With a Doctor: For routine consultations we will endeavour to offer patients an appointment within two working days (48 hours) of the request.    For medically urgent requests, we will always try to offer an appointment on the same day. To ensure we are able to meet all our patient needs in terms of appointments we are unable to guarantee a consultation with a Dr of choice. We reserve a number of appointments for advance booking up to 2-4 weeks in advance.  Routine appointments are allocated at ten minute intervals. Double appointments for complex/multiple issues should be requested.
  • With a Practice Nurse:   There are nurse lead clinics and telephone triage services on a daily basis.
If there is a delay in the appointment wait (when you arrive) of more than 30 minutes we will let you know.  We are happy to update you on any delay situation if you feel that you have been waiting too long.
Home Visits:
We are unable to guarantee a specific doctor will visit you as this depends on GP availability and other factors. The decision to undertake a home visit will be at the doctors’ discretion.
*restricted criteria applies, please ask at the Reception office.