PPG Minutes: 12th March 2024



Maiden Newton Village Hall




  • Carly Reed
  • Rob Greening
  • Clare Gregory
  • Annabel Matterface
  • Amanda Murphy
  • Dr Andy Finucane 
  • Kevin Bowmaster
  • David Ennals
  • Diana Padfield
  • Eileen Laidler
  • Sam Struderwick
  • Susie Hinchley
  • Georgina Browning
  • David Webb (Chair)
  • Rebekah Webb (Note-taker)


  • Patsy Taylor, Frampton Parish Council


  • Jeremy Russell

1. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

Two GPs have been appointed, with one new dispenser and one assistant.

Quotes are in progress for the movement of the dispensary, this will go to the Partners for decision soon.


2. Context and arrangements for the PPG

There are lots of initiatives that the PPG could take on. It could have a fundraising role or establish a volunteer group to support the e-consult process in the waiting room, or with car-parking at flu clinics. The walking group could also start up again.

The PPG can help in many ways by spreading positive messages into the community. 

The impact of the public meeting held on the 20th of January was discussed. The petition created a huge amount of stress for patients and staff and was not felt to be constructive.

The aim of the public meeting held in Maiden Newton was to have a conversation about the state of the health system locally. It was very a constructive meeting and concluded with a commitment to support the surgery and work with Ammonite to improve the situation. The ICB advised Ammonite not to attend. The media coverage did not reflect the positive tone of the meeting and had a negative impact on Ammonite staff.

Rumours around the closure of the surgery have not helped. A patient was abusive and a member of reception staff has decided to leave. 

Update on local primary care and Ammonite 

Dr Finucane shared information about the national and local context and the challenging conditions in which Ammonite is operating, including an ageing and increasingly frail population. The population has very high expectations of what should be provided. Ammonite is working very hard to deliver in very challenging circumstances.

PPG members discussed the fact that people locally may not be aware of the national NHS picture, and the predominantly elderly population here are not used to e-consult and apps. Everyone in the community is under massive stress. We can only do so much as a community.

Dr Finucane was asked if he would give his presentation to a community meeting. He was willing to do this. The PPG is keen to shift the narrative to increase community understanding of Ammonite’s perspective.

  • Ammonite has a Zero Tolerance policy. If anyone swears or is aggressive, they get a warning letter.  It is possible to remove people from our patient register if they continue. We take a kind but firm approach.
  • The eligibility for shingles vaccine has changed and is not straightforward. Ammonite has a poster to share about this.
  • Some difficulties have been experienced with the E-consult form, but it is a national document which cannot be amended locally.
  • In Cattistock, the community are working hard to improve communications. They will put a page up about Ammonite on the Cattistock website and post the PPG minutes there. They will also put information in the local magazine, the Chimes and use the Facebook page, WhatsApp groups and the village shop to disseminate information.
  • Ammonite’s social prescribing team has offered to send two people out to village halls to liaise with the community.
  • Ammonite will use its own Facebook page and the Chimes to circulate information and will post the PPG minutes on the Ammonite website.
  • Some patients have expressed frustration with having to wait several weeks for prescriptions to be issued, or to have to come back multiple times. Patients should be aware that there are national shortages of certain drugs, and therefore to be patient with the dispensary if prescriptions are not available. 
  • Patients should stay away from private prescription ordering services unless they are housebound and cannot come to the surgery to collect medication. These services do not issue emergency prescriptions. The dispensary is an important source of revenue for the practice.
  • Country cars could be extended to deliver medication, but there are currently only two drivers so recruitment would be needed. 
  • The PPG in Lyme Regis have evening talks on disease areas given by consultants from DCH. Joint sessions could be a good way forward.

Next steps

  • Carly Reed will share shingles poster
  • David Webb and Carly Reed will discuss future meeting dates, whether a meeting is needed before June, and the viability of a public meeting for Dr Finucane to share his presentation about the national and local context for Ammonite’s work.