Patient Participation Group




About Us

The Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a collection of patients at a surgery who have an interest in the services provided. Patient Participation Groups cross barriers, embrace diversity and work in partnership with the surgery to improve common understanding and help identify new services to meet patients' needs.

  • Do you have something to say but don't have the time to attend meetings?
  • Do you have ideas on how to improve your local practice?

If so, apply to join your PPG forum today! Use the link below to make contact via our eConsult service, select the 'I want administrative help' option to send us your details and any questions.


Patient Engagement 

Building Health Partnerships 

Public health Dorset are pleased to invite you to attend a Webiner on the 16th February 2022 - 2.30-4.30pm with Natasha Morris as the main speaker. The webiner will engage attendees about the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). The JSNA provides statistics and stories to support Health & Wellbeing Boards to identify key issues and develop their Joint Health Wellbeing Strategies in response to these issues. The webinar will enable attendees to consider and contribute to:

  • what is important?
  • are the issues identified correct?
  • is anything missing?

To confirm your attendance and receive the Zoom invitation, please follow the link:

image of a PPG


Previous Meeting Minutes

25th August 2020 (via Zoom)

The questions were themed in order to make a logical response, as set out below. Some general questions were omitted to keep the focus on PPG matters.

Practice Panel:

  • Dr Andy Finucane
  • Dr Ian Platt
  • Amanda Murphy, HR Manager, Bridport Medical Centre
  • Emma Hallett, Practice Manager, Tollerford Practice
  • Jim Gammans, CCG

PPG Members:

  • Roger Smith, Tollerford
  • Sally Falkingham, Tollerford
  • Annabelle Jackman, Tollerford
  • Barbara Evans, Tollerford
  • George Guy, Tollerford
  • Joyce Rendell, Tollerford
  • Ruth Field, Tollerford
  • Malcolm Mackenzie, Tollerford
  • Simon Williams, Bridport
  • Simon Thompson, Community Partner, Help & Care, Jurassic Coast PCN
  • Julian English, Community partner, Help & Care, Jurassic Coast PCN
  • Jacqui Sewell, BAVLAP

Update: How we got to where we are:

Two of the three partners at Tollerford Practice retired in 2019. Having only one GP on the contract poses a significant risk, should they be unable to continue to hold the contract for any reason the practice is likely to close. The Bridport partners joined Tollerford in November 2019 to protect the contract for the future and sustain services for patients at Pound Piece and Tunnel Road. Since then Dr Richa Singh from Bridport has joined the Tollerford team to increase the number of GP appointments available. The merger of our practices means that we can work as one team and make better use of our combined resources.


Staff: Q: What are the opportunities for clinical staff to specialise, how will admin tasks for clinical staff be reduced and will administration remain local to retain the ethos of each practice?

A: As doctors, we are continuously developing our skills, for instance taking a special interest in specific disease areas, which not only improves services for our patients, but can be shared with our clinical colleagues. We currently spend a lot of time on administrative tasks which don’t need to be done by a doctor. We will have a wider administrative team who will be able to manage these tasks, and so release precious clinical time for us to do the things we are best at – caring for our patients. We want to create a stable workforce in each practice, so that patients are able to build trusting one to one relationships with their doctor, nurse, and also the practice administrative staff.


Appointments and Access: Q: Has eConsult worked and will it continue, and will the merger improve my ability to see my usual GP?

A: Providing services during Covid-19 has meant a huge change in the way we see our patients, which has been very difficult for doctors and patients. We have seen many advantages to eConsult - It is a tool that allows patients to keep local contact with their practice using a smartphone or computer, they can access a wider spectrum of services, and clinical decision-making is better as it is done by the patients GP. We get a lot of useful information from eConsult which allows us to triage urgent appointments, who needs to be seen face to face or telephone consultation, and who can be treated remotely, or given a prescription. It has protected vulnerable patients from travel and attendance at the surgery unless medically necessary. When doctors retire and recruitment is difficult, the impact is felt more keenly in small practices, on continuity for patients and increased pressure on the remaining team. The Bridport partners joined the Tollerford Practice in 2019 to reduce the risk of closure. Since then Dr Richa Singh has transferred from Bridport to Tollerford, and as a merged practice we will continue to stabilise the workforce so that our patients are able to have continuity of routine care from the same doctor or nurse. However, if you need urgent care you may be seen by another member of the team.


Services: Q: What is likely to change in terms of services – will they be moved to another practice, and what services will be expanded to include pharmacists etc?

A: In preparation for the merger, we are reviewing our clinical pathways and access to general medical services to ensure there is equity for all of our patients. In terms of enhanced services, all West Dorset practices work closely together under the Jurassic Coast Primary Care Network (Lyme Bay Practice, Lyme Regis Medical Centre, Charmouth Surgery , Bridport Medical Centre, Barton House Pound Piece Surgery and Tunnel Road Surgery). Its early days since we took on the network contract, which includes social prescribing, pharmacists/ pharmacy technicians, physiotherapy, and paramedics. We would like to see other services added over time such as mental health. We have a lot of patients with chronic disease who are on a lot of medication; a pharmacist would be invaluable in managing the medication reviews of these patients. As these services are developed we will need to consider where and how they are provided taking into account where the need is, what the transport issues are, and how we make best use of our resources.


PPG: Q; Will there be one or more PPGs in Ammonite Health Partnership, and how can we attract new members?

A: We need to ask ourselves if our PPG is representative of our population eg younger people. Using Zoom or other remote software, we are able to connect with a wider representation of patients to ensure equity of access to the group, with no single issues or agenda’s. As part of the Jurassic Coast Primary Care Network (PCN) which is rated one of the best newcomers in the country, we are keen to have a network of PPGs who are representative of the population of their practice, who will work together across West Dorset ensuring a good functioning PPG at network level. Our PPGs will need to understand the challenges for primary care, learn about other practices and the issues for their area.


Next Steps:

  • We will engage with all West Dorset PPGs in the coming months to work towards our network goals.
  • The next meeting planned for September will be deferred in favour of the above West Dorset PPG engagement programme and we will contact you regarding this in due course.