PPG Minutes: 23rd April 2024



Bridport Medical Centre



Practice Representitives

  • Dr Andy Finucane- Managing GP Partner 
  • Amanda Murphy- Head of services, HR and Ops
  • Claire Gregory- Patient Services Manager 
  • Annabel Matterface- Senior Leadership Team Assistant 

Patient Representitives

  • Rosalind Copson 
  • Boguslawa Brophy 
  • Bob Hamblett 
  • Paul Everall 
  • Sylvia Stafford 
  • Geoffrey Pook 
  • Jo Summerfield
  • Harry Britton
  • Edmund Brand 
  • Jim Fisher 
  • Paula Marshall 
  • Barbara Poole 
  • Laura Dron  


  • Arthur Woodgate
  • Sarah Horniman

1.0 Presentation

Dr Finucane delivered a presentation that he had created to give some background and information of where the Ammonite partnership has been, where we are now and where we are going, looking in particular at some of the challenges faced currently. 

It was explained that General Practice has changed drastically in the last few years, this has been both unsettling and stressful for staff and patients alike.  One factor in the continuing pressure’s felt by General practice and  the NHS, is an aging population, as shown in these statistics. 

Particularly in the Dorset area, this increases the pressure and demand for appointments and treatment, both GP and nursing, as well as medication monitoring. You can see in the graph the age structure as it was in 2018 and how it is predicated to be by 2043.


Another key problem that was faced is recruitment, of both clinical and administrative staff. It was discussed that there are a few different factors that contribute to this, one being the demographic shift in age, with a large portion of the population in the area being 65+, the working population isn’t as big, affecting the ability to recruit. Another factor that may not be so well known, is portrayed in this graph. As you can see from the red arrows depicted, the amount of GP’s leaving the NHS before they reach the ages of 30-40 has risen drastically in the past few years. 

This is worrying for General practice as it is making it harder to recruit and keep GP’s as demand continues to rise. 

Media and social media coverage also has a detrimental effect on recruitment and staff morale. 

As you can see from the graph here, the number of doctors and nurses per 1000 Patients in the UK is quite a bit smaller compared to the rest of Western Europe.

We are very lucky as a partnership, to have 7 Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACP’s) and a paramedic that can assess, diagnose and prescribe alongside our GP’s. They can also carry out home visits for those that are  housebound and help us provide a reliable service to patients. Bridport practice is also a training practice, we have several GP partners that assist with training GP registrars. We have invested in growing talent within our staffing, putting HCA’s through to become nurses and nurses through the relevant training to become ACP’s.


Ammonite Health Partnership

  • Bridport Medical Practice currently has 10 partner GPs and 1 salaried GP
  • Tollerford has 3 partner GPs and 3 salaried GPs
  • Merger during Covid wasn't easy
  • Bridport Medical Centre delivered a Covid Vaccination Programme whilst maintaining services

2018: 17 Doctors

2024: 8 Doctors

We went on to merge during covid which wasn’t easy, with limited to no face-to-face contact, building good patient relationships was proven difficult. On top of this, the practice also delivered the first Covid Vaccination Programme whilst still maintaining normal service. 

With the increased workload, demand and fewer GP’s, there have been several changes to try and make accessing healthcare as safe and fair as possible for everyone. One of the biggest changes has been setting up an advanced triage hub. This consists of 1 GP, who assesses each triage and e-consult that comes in, and 3-4 administrators that assist with booking appointments and carrying out any administrative tasks. We ensure that patients are seen based on clinical urgency, and receive the correct treatment as efficiently as possible. 

Our main message is “Help us help you”- By providing as much information as possible at the e-consult/triage stage (where a trained member of our Patient services team will ask you details) it helps our practitioners assess how urgently you need to be seen and ensures that you are receiving the correct level of care. We have also expanded our team of clinical practitioners. We now have a wonderful team of ACP’s, pharmacists and social prescribers, as well as remote GP consultations, physio and mental health workers. This relieves some of the workload from the GP’s and allows patients to access targeted help from someone who specialises in that area. 

Solutions - Change Model of Care

  • Advanced Triage Hub - "Help Us Help You" - eConsult/tel triage
  • Expanded team of clinical practioners - ANPs/ACPs, Paramedics, remote GP Consultations, Pharmacists, Mental Health Workers, Social Prescribers etc
  • Frailty Team
  • Premises improvements
  • Up-front funding from developers

Dr Finucane concluded that he felt that we have come through the worst of it and thankfully, as a partnership, are in a much more stable situation. 


2.0 Patient Feedback

Patient surveys have been handed out in reception and sent via SMS to patients for feedback on the service they have received at Bridport Medical Centre. This plays an important role in ensuring that our patients are satisfied and any improvements can be made if necessary. It also helps improve staff morale to see that patients are pleased with the care they are receiving.

These are the responses we received in March of this year. On the whole, the feedback was positive and well received. 

We take any negative feedback and look for ways we can make improvements. We are always looking to improve our service and welcome all feedback, both good and bad. 

Friends & Family Responses - Bridport Medical Centre

  1. Very good
  2. Good
  3. Neither good nor poor
  4. Poor
  5. Very poor
  6. Don't know

March 24 - 251 responses

  • 217 - 1
  • 23 - 2
  • - 3 (Called 'darling' and 'love', self-check-in not working, not enthusiastic greeting, not listend-to properly)
  • - 4
  • - 5 (Confusion F2F Vs Telephone, wait of 30 mins)
  • - 6 (Appointment cancelled)
  • - 0 Responses

3.0 How the practice and PPG can work together

The next steps for the PPG are to elect a chairperson and notetaker. The PPG here will be mirrored with both Maiden Newton and Tunnel Road with representatives of each group coming together for a joint committee. Our hope is that the PPG will help bridge the gap between the practice and patients, by helping to get messages out and provide a better understanding of some of the systems use here, we hope that we can change the way we are viewed for the better.