Cheam Family Practice, Sutton, Surrey.

Patient Participation Group Report 2011/2012

Patient Participation Group Report

This report has been produced for patients along guidelines required by the Department of Health Directed Enhanced Service and requested by NHS South West London Cluster.

a. - A description of the profile of the members of the Patient Participation Group.

Cheam Family Practice is a practice of 11,895 patients situated within the London Borough of Sutton, and part of NHS South West London Cluster.

Age/sex statistics show that the practice is split 48% male and 52% female patients. The largest age group, nearly 34% patients being aged between 35-54 yrs. See appendix 1 for detail of age/sex/ethnicity breakdown of Patient Participation Group
Unfortunately demographic information available from practice records in respect of ethnicity is very incomplete. This data has been collected since 2008. 64% of the practice population do not yet have ethnicity recorded, with a further 4% of patients from whom this information has been requested choosing not to release this information.

Of the 32% of the practice for whom ethnicity information is available nearly 14% have the ethnicity of a black and ethnic minority. This data also reflects the percentage for ethnic minorities given by the Borough of Sutton (15.2%), as available in the Borough profile for 2009. (No more recent figures being available). We can therefore assume some knowledge of our ethnic demography.

The Patient Participation Group has 36% ethnicity of black and ethnic minority with 19% of the group aged between 35 – 54 years thus reflecting the demographic make up of the practice.

In order to obtain the widest possible view of patients it was decided to run a small ‘reference’ group that would meet at the surgery to discuss survey subjects and draft an action plan. The results of these meetings would then be shared with, and approval sought from a Patient Participation group of 26. The survey and results would then be sent to a larger Patient Survey Group of 100. The results of the survey and action plan being published on our website and in the surgery so that information would reach the widest possible number of patients.

b. the steps taken by the practice to ensure that the Patient Reference Group and Patient Participation Groups are representative of its registered patients and where a category of patients is not represented, the steps the contractor took in an attempt to engage that category.

Patient Participation Group

This group was made up of patients who had responded to notices in the waiting area, information on our website and requests from staff to join a ‘virtual’ patient participation group, by completing an expression of interest form. All ages and backgrounds were targeted. (See appendix 1 for demographic information.)
In order to ensure that the most representative group of patients were contacted, including those who do not have access to the internet, it was decided that the survey should be handed out to specific groups of patients.

To do this the following groups of patients were targeted:-

  • Patients attending general surgery clinics during a week in November. 
  • Housebound patients and nursing home managers. In order to target our patients in nursing homes  which currently make up nearly 2% of our list size 
  • Patients who may not be able to attend during the day due to work commitments were targeted when they attended our late night clinics
  • Women and their partners were targeted when they attended ante – natal clinics in order to target another group of patients who may not often attend the surgery for other reasons.

Altogether a total of 315 surveys were sent out and 268 (85%) responses were received back.

c. details of the steps taken to determine and reach agreement on the issues which had priority and were included in the local practice survey.

In order to obtain the widest possible view of patients it was decided to run a small ‘reference’ group that would meet at the surgery to discuss survey subjects and draft action plan. The results of these meetings would then be shared with, and approval sought from Patient Participation group of 26.

Initially we chose a small patient reference group that we could discuss and survey subjects and draft an action plan. These were patients that had been coming to the surgery for a while. Some had experience of leading patient groups and others in union work. When asked they were willing to meet and share their ideas. More agreed to attend, but were unable to make the meetings in the end due to other commitments.

Ten patients responded: all in agreement with the subjects to be surveyed. On receipt of the responses, questions were devised and a survey developed. The survey was then sent to the patient participation group again for comment and approval. This time of the 26 patients in the group 7 responded; 5 in favour and 2 in favour but with suggestions for improvement. The questionnaire was also proof read by staff. After agreement from the lead GP the questionnaire was uploaded onto the website and sent to a wider group of 100 patients who had informed us that they were happy to take part in the survey and consented to give us their email address. Of the 100 patients contacted 61% completed the survey.

The survey and results would then be sent to a larger Patient Survey Group of 100. The results of the survey and action plan being published on our website and in the surgery so that information would reach the widest possible number of patients.


d. the manner in which the contractor sought to obtain the views of its registered patients.

  • Formation of patient reference group for face to face discussion. (3-4 patients attending)
  • Approval for action plan sought from larger Patient Participation group who had initially expressed interest in being involved. (26 patients via email)
  • Survey sent to larger virtual group. (100 patients via email)
  • Surveys handed out in reception areas.
  • Given to patients on home visits during flu season
  • Specific clinics targeted as above in point b.

e. details of the steps taken by the practice to provide an opportunity for the Patient Reference Group and Patient Participation Group to discuss the contents of the action plan.

A meeting of the Patient Reference Group was arranged in December 2011 to discuss the results and comments of the survey and to develop an action plan. Three out of the 5 members of the group attended at the arranged time. An action plan was developed. This was then emailed to the attending members for checking for errors and omissions, and their approval. Once approval had been given by this group the action plan was emailed to the larger Patient Participation Group for their comments, suggestions and approval. Seven patients responded all in agreement with the actions suggested.

f. details of the action plan setting out how the finding or proposals arising out of the local practice survey can be implemented and, if appropriate, reasons why any such findings or proposals should not be implemented.


See appendix 2 for action plan.

  • All items on the proposed list were approved except 1. It had been requested that patients were offered 3 options when ringing for an appointment. 
    • 1. An appointment that day
    • 2. An appointment on a different day (pre – bookable appointment)
    • 3. A triage call with a GP.
  • The later was rejected for a number of reasons
    • 1. Contacting patients back (triage) proved to be ineffective when used extensively in the past and was stopped in Oct 09. 
    • 2. Many patients had to be brought down to the surgery to see a clinician after the call, thus duplicating work which was felt to be not best use of GP’s and patients time.
    • 3. If triage was resumed, we were concerned that it would mean a loss of face to face appointments.
    • 4. When triage was in use A&E attendance increased. Since removal of triage information from Nelson Commissioning Group shows A&E attendance of patients from our practice has declined.

This will be kept under review.

g. a summary of the evidence including any statistical evidence relating to the findings or basis of proposals arising out of the local practice survey.

See appendix 3 for summary of survey evidence

See appendix 3b – Questions from Patient Questionnaire.

h. details of the action which the practice, intend to take as a consequence of discussions with the Patient Reference Group in respect of the results, findings and proposals arising out of the local practice survey.

Promote greater use of internet and increasing number of appointments available on the internet as per action plan in Appendix 2.

Changing of telephone arrangements from 0844 to local 020 number.

See action plan – appendix 2.

i. the opening hours of the practice premises and the method of obtaining access to services throughout the core hours. See appendix 4.

Access available by phone and visiting surgery.

j. where the contractor has entered into arrangements under an extended hours access scheme, the times at which individual healthcare professionals are accessible to registered patients.

Individual healthcare professionals are available under an extended hours access scheme on Monday evenings 6.30pm – 9.30pm.