Friends of Parkwood Surgery

Friends of Parkwood Surgery Newsletter - July 2023

View from the FPS Chair - Yvonne Metcalf

In our FPS committee meetings over the past few months, we’ve had two major topics on our agenda – change and communication. There have been so many changes in the way we as patients access our health care – from Patient Access to prescriptions, triage, and having access to so many different health care professionals – sometimes it’s hard to stay on track. Whilst my own personal experience this month has been overwhelmingly positive, we in the FPS committee have all heard from patients about the difficulties they’ve had at times. Sometimes it seems the ‘system’ doesn’t work for them, sometimes it’s not understanding how it all works – especially for those of us who don’t have the need to contact the surgery very often and then find it’s all changed – there are all sorts of reasons which make things frustrating especially when our health is our priority. So in FPS we’re working on communication with the surgery and re-establishing the links so vital to being able to represent us as patients now that new staff and systems are embedded in the practice.

The committee was sad to say goodbye to Jacquie Humphries at our June meeting. Jacquie has been a patient of the practice for many years. She is a well known figure in the community and I think just knows everyone – a walk along the road with her is never quick! She has been involved in the FPS committee for longer than any of us and was Chair for a time. We will miss her for her understanding of the issues for patients, her empathy, her dedication and of course her humour.

Thank you Jacquie – you’ll be much missed and we wish you and your family all the best for the future.

And finally, you’ll see on our Facebook and in this newsletter a short survey about any links you’ve had with FPS over the last year. We are asking too that you tell us how best you think we can support patients of the Practice. Do please take a few minutes to fill it in as this will help us to focus our activities over the rest of the year in a way which is useful to us all. Remember that we are unable to deal with specific complaints or medical matters as the Practice has its own mechanisms for dealing with such issues.

Yvonne MetcalfFPS Chair

Logo of Parkwood Surgery - a green filigree tree with the words 'Parkwood Surgery' next to it

News from the surgery

Surgery closures for training

Several comments from patients of the surgery have been about the recent surgery closures due to training. FPS raised this at a recent meeting to discover what is the reason for this.

The surgery advised that these training sessions are mandatory and all GP practices are obliged to complete them. They cover such topics as safeguarding, infection control and GDPR. The surgery closes for one afternoon per month for such training.

Whilst the surgery is closed for these sessions, NHS111 provides cover for urgent medical needs.


Surgery funding

NHS funding is always in the news these days. Whilst GP surgeries are technically private businesses, they rely upon funding from the NHS to deliver the services they offer to the public – and Parkwood Surgery is no different.

One of the most frustrating expenses for the surgery is missed appointments. We all know how difficult it is to get an appointment in the first place, yet a small number of patients do not attend their hard-won appointments. These leads to a waste of clinical time, when other patients could be seen instead. One way you can really help the surgery to provide the services you want to see is by contacting them to release an appointment if you are unable to attend for whatever reason.

Another major way to support the surgery is by taking up their invitation for a ‘flu vaccine when the autumn rolls around. Each vaccine administered comes with an amount of funding, which the NHS can give to the surgery, or to local pharmacies. Choosing Parkwood Surgery as your vaccine site will help the surgery to deliver the services you want to see. Dates for the ‘flu clinics will be available in due course.

In Focus: Marta’s Senior Fitness Classes

FPS has long recommended our more senior members might want to attend Marta Hall’s seated exercise classes. Here, committee member Hilary gives us her experience of taking part.

I have been attending Marta’s chair classes for strength and balance for many years. Our ages range from between 60s to 90s.

They have definitely benefitted me in many ways: strength, yes, balance, yes, and an enjoyable afternoon with friends.

We start with tea, coffee, chat and biscuits. This is a time to meet and greet, and have a catch up of our week.

Then onto the exercises.

We use scarves, soft balls, batons and resistance bands. The program starts with breathing exercises and posture routines: legs, arms and twisting all seated, some done to music which makes it all very enjoyable and we forget we are exercising. Then standing routines, all with the protection and support of chairs if needed. The standing exercises are only if you are able to perform them, otherwise you remain seated.

Then we have a period of relaxation listening to music and Marta reading to us. Cool down exercises send us on our way feeling energized and happy.

I heartily recommend it.

What’s been happening with FPS this month?

We want your feedback

We’d love to know how you think we as a PPG are doing. Let us know your thoughts by filling in this quick questionnaire.

Knit and Natter Group

The Knit and Natter group continues to meet on Tuesdays from 2-4pm at the Community Hall on Great Sturgess Road. If you’d like to come along to it, or know someone who would like a chat and some company, please contact Val on 01442 255449.

Check out the minutes of our meetings

The minutes from FPS’ monthly meetings, including our most recent July meeting, are available here. We hope this will improve the transparency for patients so you can see your concerns and queries are being raised.

Health Matters Webinars: accessing past sessions

We’ve had requests from patients who have missed a webinar or wanted to see parts of it again. These have been collated here and include talks on 11 different subjects, including heart health, liver health and prostate issues.

Want to stay up to date?

One easy way to keep up to date with FPS’ events is to follow us on our Facebook page. Every time we update the website, we’ll post a link there!

Unsubscribe from FPS communications

From 19th September 2022, the surgery took over communications on FPS’ behalf, in order to reach a wider number of patients. You can find out more about this on the surgery’s website, including how to unsubscribe if you would like to stop receiving communications from FPS.