Minutes of the Meeting of the OPPG held by Zoom on Wednesday, 10 February, 2021

Present:  Lita Gray, Gill Grant, Heather Murdoch, Jean Clark

1. A discussion was held regarding the local online forum ‘Nextdoor’. Members have observed a discussion thread on the site whereby locals were discussing the vaccination programme and were commenting on various issues.  Including why they had to travel to Stanground for the vaccination rather than be able to obtain this in Oundle. The group discussed the benefits of being able to communicate with a wider audience if we could use the forum to respond to such queries to advise patients on such issues. It is also seen as a good opportunity for the PPG to promote our voluntary group with a view to attracting new members and to communicate various other relevant issues to the local community. A point was raised regarding communications via this channel and compliance with NHS guidelines if the PPG are disseminating information relating to Lakeside matters.  It was suggested we discuss with Carol Beesley to seek clarification on this point before we proceed to use this channel.

2. In the response to LG’s PPG email of 2/2/21 regarding our suggestion to update patients with regular communications on the Vaccination Program (i.e.weekly), Practice Manager, Carol Beesley (email received on 5/2/21), advised that all communications regarding the Covid 19 Vaccination Program, must be approved by NHS England and that they are not able to publish any information regarding clinic dates, numbers of patients vaccinated and numbers vaccinated etc. The group discussed the need to have a better understanding of the Guidelines relating to this so that the PPG are more aware of the compliance issues.  It was agreed to email CB to seek clarification by requesting how we can obtain a copy of the guidelines or to refer us to a site we can access this information. It was agreed that once we have a better understanding then the PPG’s expectations for clearer and more regular communications may change as a result.

3. It was agreed to refer CB directly to Liz Holland at Volunteer Action to obtain a statement to go on the Practice website regarding possible VA assistance for transport for some patients to the vaccination site in Stanground. It was suggested that the Practice could also add the statement on the Oundle Practice Facebook page to further highlight the possible assistance for transport.  

4. CB advised in her email that in response to our suggestion of a dedicated helpline or answerphone service for vaccination queries, that the practice were going to trial a new telephone option on the answerphone system between 10a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. It was agreed by all that it was a positive step to help clarify some of the concerns that patients have regarding obtaining information from the surgery on this matter.

5. In view of the current difficulties, it was agreed to postpone the meeting planned for Wednesday 24 February until further notice, when all current OPPG members would be all current OPPG members would be included.

6. The group discussed new titles for active members in PPG meetings going forward. As the suggestion is to rotate the Chairperson and Secretary roles in future rather than the same person have the responsibility each meeting. It was muted that possible alternative titles could be Spokesperson to replace Chairperson and Minute Taker to replace Secretary.  It was agreed to put this forward at the next general PPG meeting.  Date to be agreed.

7. A discussion took place on how to improve communication between the Practice and patients.  We were pleased to learn that Lakeside Healthcare are in the process of appointing a Communications Officer, which should enable/provide/yield better lines of communication between patients and all the Lakeside

8. The group discussed ways to promote awareness of the PPG.  Suggestions were made to get posters printed for distribution in Suggestions of various areas to do this is to get posters printed to place at various venues in the town and to use the towns electronic notice boards at the Library, town centre and Waitrose as well as the local forum Nextdoor and the AGM later in the year as some options.  To be discussed in more detail at a later meeting. 

9. It was discussed how the PPG members can access the PPG emails on the website for section “How to Join PPG?”and information regarding “About the PPG”. LG to email CB about this and Liz Holland (previous Chairperson) to request this information.

It was reaffirmed, the OPPG would continue to meet fortnightly until further notice whilst the current Covid situation continues.

Date of Next Meeting of the Newsletter Group of the OPPG on Weds 24 February 2021 at 2.30 pm via Zoom.