Upper Dales Health Watch – Synopsis of meeting 19th June 2023

Upper Dales Health Watch

The Patient Participation Group for the Central Dales Practice

Synopsis of the meeting held on 19th June 2023

  • The Practice has approximately 4,250 patients which is below 5,000 giving the Practice sparsity funding.  This number has remained static since 2019.
  • Extra funding has been granted for Lynn Iveson, Advanced Clinical Practitioner to work one day a week at Sycamore Hall and for Amy Wardell, Mental Health Practitioner.
  • Fiona Morrison, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) visits Sycamore Hall every Thursday.
  • The Practice provides the same number of clinical sessions per week as it did in 2019.  However, GP/ANP appointment demand has increased by some 35% since 2019.  The Practice cannot identify the reasons for this but feel the only way to manage the increased demand is the use of telephone triage.  This allows the GPs & the ANP to make their own clinical decisions and manage the workload safely and effectively.
  • 70% of CDP patient queries can be dealt with over the phone.  This frees the GPs /ANP to spend more time with patients who need face to face appointments.
  • The delay in prescription deliveries is a national problem and wholesalers have staffing issues.  CPD Is trying to keep a larger stock of medicines, but some are temperature sensitive and won’t last in hot weather.
  • Practices across England get no funding for Temporary Residents e.g., holiday makers.  CDP gets no extra funding for “assisted living” e.g., Sycamore Hall.
  • Media hype e.g., recent programmes about the menopause can course sudden panic and an influx of patient enquiries.  Patients using Dr Google can also become worried unnecessarily.
  • Although some patients would prefer the pre Covid system waiting all morning to be seen, others prefer the present system as it saves time. 
  • GP Assistant is a national term but is confusing some patients, so CDP is describing Sarah Weatherald as a Medical Secretary.
  • There had been real community relief the CDP had been able to recruit two new GPs and it was appreciated that appointments were much easier to get than in some other parts of the country.
  • The Practice’s new website will be ready shortly and will include the synopsis of the UDHW minutes. 
  • There is no information yet about Covid boosters due this autumn.  There will still be 2 separate ‘flu injections.
  • CDP has volunteered to pilot the NHS Digital Inclusion Project.  This will target those who don’t use / are wary of IT e.g., apps, Facebook, Systm online etc.  Further information pending.
  • E consultations need to be encouraged.  Friends / relatives can help patients communicate this way by filling in the online form for them. 
  • There is a list of UDHW Parish Representatives in both surgeries.

Jane Ritchie, Hon. Secretary

Upper Dales Health Watch