Hilltop Medical Practice Dr. N ghosh-Chowdhury Hillside Primary Care Centre 150 Hilltop Avenue

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Hilltop Medical Practice

Dr. N Ghosh-Chowdhury

Hillside Primary Care Centre

150 Hilltop Avenue

London NW10 8RY

Tel: 020 3188 7250 Fax: 020 8963 1349


Thursday 30th October 2014


Patient present at meeting:








Dr Neeta Ghosh-Chowdhury

Clare Bowden

Ms Vanita Patel

Christine Stephens

Welcomes to the group, Dr NGC introduced Christine to the PPG, who has recently been recruited as a member of the administration team and will be based on reception.

  1. Minutes from last PPG meeting were circulated to all patients present. Progress of the Action Plan for 2013-2014 was discussed. All actions have been completed:

  1. EMIS Access

a) The system was explained to the patients by Dr NGC, it is gaining momentum amongst patients, who want to book appointments and order prescriptions on line. The PPG were assured when patients are booking appointments on-line this in no way effects the appointments available by phone or when you visit the practice. Eventually the plan is for patient to be able to view the medical record summary on-line.

  1. EPS – Electronic Prescribing Service

a) This is a service where patients can request to have prescriptions sent to a pharmacy of their choice, work, home etc. Examples where this has proven useful were given.

  1. Phlebotomy Services

a) Dr NGC explained to the PPG the changes made to the local phlebotomy service and how this will impact on the patients. Patients used to be directed to Willesden Hospital or Wembley Centre for Health and Care. In October 2014 these services were recommissioned. Now patients of the practice can use any of two practices upstairs to have their bloods taken. If a doctor requests a blood test they will be directed to an appropriate practice and can book an appointment. Unfortunately as it stands there is no longer a walk in service, but this may be reviewed in future.

  1. A&E Closure

a) Central Middlesex and Hammersmith Hospitals Accident and emergency departments have now closed. There will be an urgent care centre available at each hospital.

b) This is for walk in patients with minor complaints, for more serious issues e.g. requiring surgery, staying overnight, patient’s will be transferred to another one of the local hospitals. This will not in any way affect the care received by the patients; this is one of the worries for the PPG. Dr NGC explained services must still be of a high standard but there is evidence that by having specialist centres outcomes have been shown to be better eg Stroke, MI.

d) This should not have an effect on the people of Brent as rather than going to one hospital for all treatments (when required) it may just mean a bit more moving around as the lead for different departments are now in different hospitals.

  1. Friends and Family Questionnaire

a) It was explained to the PPG that from 1st December, each patient whenever they visit the practice will be asked if they would like to fill in a questionnaire. This is a government directive and will ask questions like – ‘how likely would you be to recommend the practice to your friends and family’ or ‘how can we improve our levels of care’. This is something which will be nationwide and also be done in hospitals when patients visit for appointments.

  1. Cardiology and Ophthalmology services

a) Ophthalmology services will be changing to a community based service. This service will be run by Consultants and will be based in either Sudbury Centre or Willesden Hospital. It will offer a much quicker referral system, patients requiring an urgent appointment can be seen within 24 hours where as more routine cases will be within 2 weeks. It is not specifically an emergency service nor is it suitable for patients who may require surgery. Patients if they choose to, can still be seen at the hospital. This includes referrals from opticians.

b) Cardiology services will now also be more community based for common cardiology issues e.g. hypertension, Heart Failure.

Discussion was had about the reason for re-commissioning these services. The PPG think these are very good solutions to the problems regarding delays, standards of service.

  1. Harness

The Harness brand was explained to the PPG by Dr NGC – Harness is made up of 21 practices that have a combined patient list size of over 115,000. All Harness practices aim to provide the same standard of high quality, patient focused care. We hope to run in the same way, with the same policies and procedures, so that any patient regardless of where they are registered can hope to have the same services and care offered to them.
As a collective we have already been able to enhance our current Practices. An example is the locality HUB which is a Monday/ friday/ Saturday service providing additional GP appointments on these busy days and thereby increasing access for our patients.

  1. DNA rates

a) DNA rates are still affecting day to day clinics as we have such a high number. For the week 20/10/14-25/10/14 the practice had 67 missed appointments by patients. The PPG were very shocked by this and feel the only solution is to enforce stricter penalties on the people who repeatedly miss appointments. There was discussion about the current DNA Policy. The PPG approved for this to be amended to 3 strikes and you are out. This means if you miss 3 appointments within a year you will be deducted from the practice list. The PPG suggest this as more than fair given the multiple ways people can now contact the practice to cancel their appointments. There was further discussion about the patients affected by this and what this would mean. The PPG felt that they should not be allowed to re-register back with the Practice as this would negate the DNA policy. Dr NGC explained that the Practice has to be very clear if we deny registration for any patients and that there may be cases where re-registration may be allowed.
Action: CB to amend DNA Policy and Letters

  1. Telephone Consultations/appointments

a) PPG asked if it was possible to have telephone consultations with the Dr. It was explained to the group that this was possible but due to time constraints could impact on regular face to face appointment slots. Dr NGC discussed how this is being used for some patients eg the patients on the unplanned admissions pathway. Patients also call and leave messages. From time to time patients also request telephone consultations and this is slotted into the usual surgeries. The PPG did not wish to risk normal face to face surgeries but the Practice has promised to trial more use of telephone consultations.
b) Increased sessions with Dr’s. We have increased the number of GP sessions per week for increased access to a GP. Dr NGC has told the group that she has been continuously monitoring the waiting time for a regular appointment and with the list size growing the Practice has employed a locum doctor to help reduce the waiting times to approximately one week. There was also discussion about the problems trying to recruit and retain GPs in Brent.

  1. AOB

a) PPG expressed concern about the disabled parking area, given there is none outside the practice. One member of PPG is a blue badge holder and cannot get parking nearby.
Action: CB to write to Estates Manager and feedback to PPG next meeting.
b) Brent Annual General Meeting - AF explained to the group he had attended the meeting but was not happy with the outcome, said his questions were not answered and he felt it was a waste of time. He brought to group the booklet he had received and has left it at the practice for people to read.

c) Harness Carnival – working with Brent Council there is a plan to have a ‘Harness Carnival’ put in to operation next year, as suggested at the Harness wide PPG meeting by our very own chair. This will include the opportunity to meet with other practices and there will be local companies and healthcare professionals from the local area. We will let the PPG now of dates and ask for any suggestions nearer to the time.

d) The PPG expressed their concerns about changes in the NHS in general. There was awareness of how everything seemed to be directed back to GPs- examples discussed of how after an outpatient appointment, the patient had to take the prescription back to the GP Practice in order for it to be prescribed. The patient as not happy as they felt that their treatment was being deliberately delayed and should have been prescribed in the hospital itself. The PPG were informed regarding the increased amount of work now expected to be done in Primary Care and the effect it will have on Dr NGC and other clinicians. The PPG were very supportive of Dr NGC and were thanked in response.


  • DrNGC thanked all the patients for attending, next meeting will be in January.

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