Patient participation

Arran Medical Centre is committed to ensuring that patients are involved in decisions about the range and quality of services provided by our practice. We routinely ask for and act on the views of our registered patients. This includes involving our patients in decisions that lead to changes to the services we provide, either directly or in our capacity as gatekeeper to other services.

We engage patients through the use of Patient Reference Groups (PRGs) and seek views from wider groups of practice patients through regular local practice surveys. The outcomes of the engagement and the views of our patients are routinely published on this website.

If you are interested in becoming a member of our Patient Reference Group and helping to shape the nature of health services provided in your local community, please contact Sarah Bowen on 0121 770 4043.

March 2013



The group was formed in April 2012 and at end of March 2013 currently has a membership of 8.  The practice patient list is 2500 so the representation is quite low.  We have tried to recruit new members by adverts in the waiting room, on repeat prescriptions and some direct requests.  There has been one new member in February 2013 but we are looking to try and recruit at least 4 more to make a more sustainable group but this is proving to be difficult.  In addition, the majority of the PPG is female so we need to recruit a male representation and possibly some younger elements.  The chair is to contact other local surgeries to find out how they recruit members to find out if there is a better way but we have continued to find it difficult to attract patients to join.

The chair person, Sarah Bowen has attended the following external meetings:

  1. 17.04.2012 when topics discussed were Badger out of hours service, West Midlands Ambulance Service and an update on the podiatry service.
  2. 25.07.2012 when topics discussed were falls protocol and an introduction to Healthwatch
  3. 25.09.2012 when a presentation was given on Health Trainers.
  4. 21.11.2012 when an update was given on the formation of Solihull CCG, West Midlands Ambulance update, patient surveys and extended hours surgeries in relation to did not attend rates increasing.
  5. 24.01.2013 this meeting was cancelled
  6. 21.03.2013 when topics discussed were the introduction of NHS 111 to replace NHS Direct, an update on Solihull PCT change to Solihull CCG and Solihull Council.

Internal meetings



This was a provisional meeting to gauge patient interest and to select a chair.



Discussion on patient surveys and what members would like to see in these.  Two versions of GPAC survey used in the past were discussed but it was felt these were perhaps a little too long.  We will develop a new one that takes the important elements from the GPAC and add in our own required questions.

Members requested the possibility of a permanent female GP at the practice.  Currently there is one male GP and as we are a training practice, we have a number of GP Registrars who come for either 4, 6 or 12 months, most of whom are female.  Discussion around why this was not possible at present.

Concern was expressed over the booking of appointments for phlebotomy and the long wait due to the way in which these were booked.  We will look at this and discuss with the phlebotomists.

The members expressed that they were generally happy with the reception team and the resident GP.



Discussed patient surveys.  We are currently doing a survey around access which fits in with the action plans for the Commissioning Group this year.  As the surgery opening times changed in 2011 and the action plan we are undertaking is looking at patient’s attendance in Accident and Emergency Departments during surgery opening hours and whether out of hours could be used in the evenings and weekends, the survey is asking how many patients are aware of the new opening times and what they should do if they need medical advice out of hours. 

The extended hours surgeries were discussed and the members were happy with the current arrangement on Tuesday evenings.  They did not feel that opening on Saturday mornings would be beneficial.

There was discussion around reception team only answering calls at busiest times of the day. 

Members asked if there was a plan to move to new premises.

There was discussion around Solihull Walk In Centre and members who had used it were happy with the service

There was discussion over the new NHS 111 service and confusion over when to use this or when to go to Badger/Solihull Walk in Centre

A request was made for new equipment, namely more blood pressure monitors, more nebulisers and an ultrasound to avoid referral to hospital.


Next meeting will be May 2013


 Questions asked:

  1. Did you know the surgery is open 0800-1830 every week day, Monday to Friday?
  2. Did you know that you can request a telephone consultation instead of an appointment?
  3. Did you know that you can attend Solihull Walk In Centre from 0800-2000 every day, 365 days per year if you need to see a GP and the surgery is not open?
  4. Did you know that you can contact Badger out of hours between 1830 and 0800 every evening and at weekends/bank holidays?

Results of survey

(Percentage of patients who ticked yes to above)

Number of patients surveyed = 50

  1. 30%
  2. 54%
  3. 42%
  4. 60%

The survey shows that while a good percentage of patients are aware of the out of hours service, the majority are not aware of the other alternatives.


Increase amount of advertising in surgery, on letter heads, on repeat prescriptions, update website, use of local pharmacy and printed small leaflet to hand out to every patient, in addition to the practice leaflet, which already carries this information.