Patient Participation Group




Aims & objectives of the group:

  • To establish an effective line of communication between partners, staff and patients.
  • To work together in a supportive and constructive manner to agree any changes which will benefit the diverse needs of our patient population.

Please note this group is not intended to be a forum to discuss individual or personal complaints.

If you would like more information about the Patient Participation Group please contact us on 01325 461128 or use our secure online form

image of a PPG


Latest Minutes

To obtain a copy of any previous minutes, please contact the practice.

Minutes of Meeting held on: Wednesday 19th April 2023


Mrs Sally Hutchinson – Practice Business Manager
Lindsey Beswick – Admin Liaison for the group
Amanda Lockwood and Alice – Social Prescribers
Patients:  WR, GC, AC, SW

Minutes of last meeting

Action plan discussed 
Patient Survey results are currently being assessed
Reminder text messages are sent out the day before between 10 and 4pm.
Vikki to write up her role for the next Newsletter

The Role of the Social Prescribers

Amanda and Alice attended the meeting tonight to give a presentation on the role of the Social Prescriber and also a case study each of a patient they had helped.  Social Prescribers can assist patients with dealing with bereavement, counselling, can help financially to pay for services felt to be of benefit to the patient, the service is funded by the NHS.  One case study was of a female pt who did not feel listened to by her husband and was struggling.  She had not accessed any benefits of PIP.  The SP's helped her with filling in application forms and by arranging for her to attend MIND.  This gave her confidence and empowerment to manage her life and receive the benefits she was entitled to.

Social Prescribers are sometimes accommodated within GP Practices – Amanda is situated in Neasham Road.  This helps both the staff and patients who can have easy and fast access to a SP who can then assess the needs of the pt and help with signposting and making further appointments with the necessary teams.  Patients can be referred into the SP service by a healthcare professional or can refer themselves. 

Amanda and Alice also discussed the new roles of Health and Wellbeing Coaches.  These professionals provide group settings for those patients with long term conditions and helps gives them the skills to manage their life with a long term condition and with the help of other patients, give them encouragement and the tools needed to cope. 

Leaflets will be attached to the email

Covid Vaccination Boosters

The spring boosters are now underway.  The eligibility is for: anyone aged 75 and over (by 30th June 2023)
People aged 5-74 with a weakened immune system
Residents of care homes for older adults

Pharmacies are the delivering this service for the Darlington community with the care home team provided by a service from Middlesbrough.  

No GP in Darlington are providing the service due to the lack of resources to provide the service and the logistical issues in holding the vaccine etc.

GP Contract Update

Sally gave a brief overview of the changes to the GP Contract which came out in April.  

This includes:

  • Some leniency on childhood immunisations, specifically those children who arrive from overseas but have not had the UK immunisation schedule.  Practices will not longer be 'penalised' for this
  • GP Access – patients are no longer asked to 'ring back' but must be dealt with on their first contact to the surgery.  This means that either appointments can be made, signposting to another service more appropriate, offered appropriate advice and care.  I believe with our new appointment system, we are compliant.
  • Mandatory use of a cloud based telephone system – again ours is

Current Practice Issues

  • Automatic door replacement delayed due to the request of a further asbestos survey
  • Decorating continues
  • Roof was fixed – no more leaks !
  • Staffing levels OK
  • Salaried GP leaving – Dr Bremner but we are hopeful we will have a replacement due to the interest shown
  • HRT prescriptions are to be subsidised


Any items for the summer newsletter, please let me know by the end of May for publication in June – thank you.

Next meeting

19th July 2023 2023  5.00pm
St Augustines Parish Hall