Patient Group meeting

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The Audlem Practice Participation Group met at the Medical Practice this week. As well as the seven patient representatives, Dr Peter Leftwick and Practice Manager Helen Matthews represented the Medical Practice and Brian Bowles also attended to talk about the local hospitals.

Local hospitalBrian Bowles, an Audlem resident and Patient Governor of Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, spoke about his role as a Patient Governor. He stressed the close connection between primary and secondary care, that the role of Governor is to make sure the Trust do what they say they will do and that they are responsible to their local population.

Brian has a special interest in dementia care and care for those people with problems such as anxiety and depression.

He was asked about Mid Staffs hospital type issues and how they were monitored at Leighton. Brian confirmed that Governors were involved in key sub committees with Directors and Non Executives, including discussions on clinical governance and audit issues. They also meet patients and monitor standards.

Brian was also asked about 'death rate' data comparisons. This has been followed up since the meeting. It shows the local hospitals have a mortality ratio similar to the national average.

Hospital car parking charges were discussed including the recent increases. Brian confirmed that weekly passes could be purchased for £5 but it was noted that relatives of in-patients didn't necessarily know how long people would be in hospital.

LeafletTurning to other issues, an Audlem Patient Participation Group leaflet will be distributed in late October and a link on Audlem Online to include Medical Practice general information is to be prepared.

Dr Peter Leftwick said that the Practice's existing telephone call activity is to be monitored with view to then purchasing a new system in the New Year. The electronic booking in system was working very well in freeing up receptionist time to better deal with phone calls.

It was reported that the Wednesday afternoon surgery opening had gone down very well with patients including for those with chronic conditions. It had also reduced pressure on routine appointments. The question of Saturday opening was raised and it was agreed that extended opening would be kept under review.

A patient complaint about difficulty in obtaining an appointment was discussed. The Practice has also responded directly to the complaint.

The Group was briefed on discussions currently taking place with Cheshire West Primary Care Trust and the Practice's current links with Central & East PCT. More on this after meetings with the PCTs and a possible extraordinary meeting of the Patient Participation Group in a month's time.

CarersThere was a discussion about the Practice's links with Carers. Peter Leftwick plans to attend a local Carers meeting shortly.

All members of the Group were at the meeting — Bob Cartwright, Geoff Farr, Marion Hough, David Mason, Janet Maughan, Roger Millns and Anne Roberts.