About the Patient Participation Group

PPG Aims

The aims of the Practice and Patient Group are to:

  • Provide support to the Practice and act as a critical friend by making constructive suggestions
  • Gather patient feedback and put forward ideas for improvement in the services provided
  • Provide useful information to patients
  • Communicate our wishes on future primary care provision in this locality
  • Encourage more diversity in our group membership
  • Enhance our understanding of NHS services and issues which affect our patients.

Latest PPG Newsletter

May / June 2022

In my February newsletter, I told you about the launch a new system of contacting the surgery called Ask My GP. This system isn’t just a big change for patients, but also for those working at the surgery. It means everyone involved has needed to get used to a new system and some have found it easier than others. However, the practice managers reported back that the vast majority of patient feedback has been very positive. We shared some feedback we had received and the following tips may help:

  • On the form you fill out online, you can type in whatever you need to say. For example, if you are not available to take a call at a certain time of day, you can add this information. Or if you need to request a blood test in, say, three weeks’ time, you can request that.
  • If you need clinical advice or treatment, you can expect a response the same day or the next working day. In the past, same day appointments were reserved for urgent matters, but now you can contact the surgery via this means for anything they could help with, on any day that suits you. It’s best to do it on a day when you will be available to pick up the phone, or attend an appointment if invited to.
  • For patients unable to use a computer, you can still phone in as before. The receptionist will enter your information on the same system as people doing it themselves, so you will get your response in turn with everyone else.

Another change is to do with the ownership of both practices. A few years ago, The Birches and Martlesham Heath practices joined a consortium called Suffolk Primary Care, creating a group of 11 practices with some centralised functions and a board of directors. However, the partners in our practices have decided to return to being fully independent, with effect from end July 2022. For patients, services will continue as before, so you probably won’t notice any difference, but there will be a new website. The Martlesham PPG has offered to help with its development and a new patient leaflet.

Finally, there have been some staffing changes. A new partner called Dr Foyzur Miah has joined Dr Walter Tobias at Martlesham Heath surgery. Dr Cave has just left The Birches, so Dr Miah will also be seeing patients there. There will continue to be close working between the two practices. The PPGs have also seen some changes. Having been chair of the Martlesham PPG for nearly four years (and a member since it started in 2011), I am delighted to be handing over the chair to my colleague Tony Willmott. You can contact him via email.

Prue Denton
Martlesham Heath PPG