PPG Meeting Minutes

March 2023

Meeting Date: Tuesday 7th March 2023 Start Time: 12.30 pm
Location: Norman Centre, Public Hall End Time: 1.30pm
Present: David Forward (DF); Robert Harland (RH); Sue Lake (SL); Deborah Mitchell (DM); Mike Rice (MR);); Chris Kitson (CK); Jacqui Ruhlig (JR); Richard Waller (RW)
Absent: Mark McGlade (MM); Judy Wright (JW)

Welcome and Apologies

Mark McGlade and Judy Wright sent apologies. Judith Sedgwick was unable to attend due to ill health.

SL welcomed Liz Plaatsman who would potentially like to join the PPG; Louise Hill a practice nurse at Budleigh; and Carole Browne from Launchpad.

Previous Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting, dated 10th January 2023, were agreed to be a true account and will be published on the practice website.

Practice Update

Louise introduced herself to the PPG and informed everyone how the nursing team worked and what they were able to deliver as a team.

There are 2 practice nurses, Catherine and Louise; and 4 health care assistants, Jo, Donna, Martin and Sarah. The nurses look after the team and their main responsibilities are long term conditions, baby and travel immunisations and cytology. Additionally, they oversee the HCA team and look after the clinical administration. Jo looks after our frail patients – this is a unique role which plugs the gap between the GP and social services. Our HCAs predominantly take bloods, blood pressures, diabetic feet checks, ECGs, health checks and injections. Donna is our senior HCA and additionally she conducts annual reviews of our asthma patients and is also trained in dressings. Martin sees patients for smoking cessation. Sarah joined the team in May and is currently training as an HCA.

DM discussed the number of patients who do not attend (DNA) for appointments. A DNA occurs when an appointment is not attended, and the patient has not contacted the practice in advance to cancel it or the cancellation is so late as to make it impossible to allocate that time to another patient who needs treatment. In January 2023 there were a total of 153 missed appointments which equated to 34 hours of clinical time.

A DNA description is for patients aged 16 and above; anyone below this age would be marked as “was not brought”. If patients of 15 and under are not brought to their appointment, then it is the responsibility of the nurse to phone the guardian and rebook. If the guardian refuses to bring the child in for their appointment, then the clinician will raise this with their GP to see if this is appropriate.

Agreed: Add the DNA data to the next newsletter together with some information on how patients can easily cancel their appointments.

PPG Member Feedback

SL and RH attended the practice to review the prescription process with Deni and Kathryn.

SL and JW attended the practice to review how the practice deals with incoming calls to the practice and how the new telephone system has helped.

SL has previously emailed the PPG members with a more detailed report of both visits.


Carole Brown established Launchpad in August 2017; a café based at Seachange. In October 2021 she went on to open Wesley’s which is a community space and café based in the Methodist Church. This was in direct response to the pandemic and the needs of the community.

The café hosts groups and workshops throughout the week including a peer support group for parents with special need children. There is also a community supper once monthly. In 2022 the footfall was 16,000.

In July 2022 the team were alerted that there were Budleigh residents accessing the community larder in Littleham. This wasn’t raised as a problem, but more that there was a need locally. In response to this a community larder was set up in Wesley’s which is supported by local shops (there is on average a tonne of surplus food available).

Wesley’s work with vulnerable families as identified by St Peter’s School and provide free meals to those children during holidays. Non identifiable cards are issued to families for use in the café.

With the support of Exmouth Larder, they will be piloting a “pop-up” pantry for store cupboard basics. It has been recognised nationally that here is an area of deprivation near to the school in Budleigh.

It is recognised that the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on many local families. Working families are struggling to make their money las until the end of the month. A common theme is that the end of the month is getting further and further away.

The café prices are in line with other local café prices; however, no one would be turned away. The café is supported by local charities and individuals.

Lloyds Pharmacy

SL advised there were no further updates on the sale or of the two sites. She advised some pharmacies are struggling as often the cost of many medications is less than the reimbursements.

CK confirmed that Simon Jupp is still in discussion with his ministerial colleagues regarding the licencing.


MR will be stepping down at the AGM. MR is currently responsible for the PPG email address and checking for correspondence on a daily basis; and for the reviewing of the Family and Friend’s Test results. SL has asked for a volunteer to take over these roles.

The date was originally planned for 23/05/2023 but due to 4 members being unable to attend it has been moved to 11/05/2023 where there was just 1 member unable to attend.

Health and Wellbeing Patient Talk

The last talk in October 2019 was delivered by two cardiology consultants from Exeter hospital and held at Seachange. This would be the preferred venue for a further talk.

DM will speak with the doctors and ask if they have any suggestions for a future event.

Any Other Business:

CK advised that patients were concerned about the safety of posting items in the wall box at the medical centre as some are able to put their hand into it. This is a post box built into the wall. DM advised that it was not felt safe to have an external box nailed to wall as this could easily be moved/knocked off. It will need a builder to review the current box and see if there is scope for enlarging.

Next meeting

Tuesday 11th May 2023, 12:30pm Norman Centre, Public Hall