About the Patient Participation Group

Our Patient Participation Group (PPG) has been established since 2015.

Our PPG consists of patients who are registered with the practice and who previously expressed an interest in becoming members of the PPG. Our core group currently consists of 13 patients and two staff members, to a GP Partner and our Patient Experience Manager. The majority of our members have no medical training but have an interest in the services provided by the practice.

Patient Participation Groups tend to be set up by the Practice but, over time, they are usually run by patients; it is our aim that in the future our group will elect a Chair and Secretary to drive/steer the group forward.

We also operate a ‘virtual member’ scheme where patients can request to become virtual members thereby assisting the practice with survey’s etc.

Patients who wish to join the PPG can contact Joanne Hodge, Patient Experience Manager on (01670) 822695 or complete our secure online form

We would particularly like to hear from the young, ethnic groups and the disabled.

Previous Meeting Minutes

Wednesday 14th September 2022

Bedlingtonshire Medical Group - Patient Participation Steering Group Meeting

Wednesday 26th January 2022: 4.30 - 6.00p.m. (In-person/F2F: Surgery)

A warm welcome was extended to everyone in attendance: Dr Alford(Chair)/Eddie Kingston (Vice-chair/Andrew Richardson (Practice Manager) / Chris Million (Secretary) and especially to Jane McGill (Patient Experience Officer) and Linda Child (Community Link Worker)

Community Link Worker

Also known as Social Prescribers this role looks to link patients into the Community, Voluntary and Statutory Services. Allowing patients to access emotional, social and practical support to improve their Well Being. They are able to offer advice, signpost and refer patients for nonmedical issues.

Patient Experience Officer

Main role is to deal with any patient's Complaints or Concerns. Also first point of contact for PPG and responsible for updating and adding information to the website and social media forums such as Facebook.


Of this January 26th 2022 meeting are to act as an updating forum for PPG Members as we begin our meetings again in February 2022

Practice Update (staff)

  • Dr Starkey has joined the practice (3 days)
  • Linda and Jane above have been appointed in the roles as above.
  • Mental Health Specialist now in available in the practice one day per week.
  • Pharmacist/Pharmacy technician: to deal with complex medical issues, also available one day a week in practice.
  • We have used very small percentage of GP Locom’ provision

Practice Update (Buildings/Fabric)

1 extra consultation room now in use

Interim catch-up

  • Meeting with Jane/Eddie to review the agenda items for the next PPG scheduled meeting.
  • It was agreed that staff visits to PPG will be a feature of some future meetings. They will give a brief resume of their role in the practice.

Registered patients on roll

12.9k presently; opening again from 1st of February following temporary closure.

General Patient feedback

  • Practice continues to build upon face-to-face consultations
  • Friends and Family reinstated with leaflets in reception area.

N.A.P.P. (National Association of Patient Partnership)

Surgery has renewed our annual fee £45 Thanks.

Social Media update

This is now part of Jane’s remit.

Mental Health Specialist

  • New practitioner in place and more appointments in the system.
  • Will connect into Linda’s role.


  • Increasing telephone triage at present due to staff shortages from COVID.
  • Masks/sanitiser still compulsory in health care settings
  • 3 staff answering the phone in the mornings to deal with increased telephone traffic
  • COVID message has been reduced to one minute
  • 8.30a.m. (emergencies appointments only until 11.00am)
  • 11.00a.m. (routine appointment opened)
  • Approximately 50% of appointments available on a F2F basis
  • Present/average waiting time for calls is 4 mins.
  • Actively looking at telephone waiting times


Eddie and Chris worked on updates for the screen in reception area. These suggestions have been passed to IT team. Andrew to get a progress update.

Northumberland PPG

Nothing to report at present.

Health Watch

  • Eddie attended AGM on line 4th November 2021
  • 80 attendees
  • Areas covered in meeting…. Review of year; end of life care; PPG feedback; Face to face consultations; Covid update and impact; Improvement of Dental access and services
  • Tracey Bruce shared information re: Recovery College (Mental Health/Well Being); local branch needs were to be acknowledged; wide variety of activities on offer.

PPG (Ourselves) 2022/3

  • PPG worker input for practice: we do want to help! - ’front of shop’/behind the scenes/remote
  • PPG would welcome staff feedback, ideas, advice, improvements as to our role within our practice
  • Introduction to ‘e-consult’ at a future date


  • Appointments on-line: the box for reason of consultation needs to allow for longer time to fill this in.
  • Dementia link: two practice nurses work closely with Linda now; part of Dementia Matters/Day Centre provision; sign-posting of patients.

Date & Time of next meeting (face to face at the surgery): 2nd of March 5pm

Thanks Everyone. Chris