Patient Participation Group


Welcome to Strawberry Hill Medical Centre Patient Participation Group (SHMC PPG).

About the Patient Participation Group (PPG)

Every GP Surgery is required to establish a PPG but each PPG is unique, evolving to meet local needs. SHMC PPG works with the Practice to offer the following:

  • Ensure consideration
  • Help to improve communications between Clinical staff and patients and their relatives
  • Assist all parties in seeking a resolution of concerns and complaints
  • Encourage patients to take more responsibility for their health
  • Provide practical support to those who attend the surgery
  • Link with other groups in the Health sector in West Berkshire

The Organising Committee is a group of PPG members who have volunteered to represent the views of the patients of SHMC. The Organising Committee will have a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and other members may be co-opted for various roles. It meets quarterly and holds an open AGM once a year.

All patients of SHMC have the opportunity to join the PPG.

Join the Patient Participation Group (PPG)

Patients may register their interest but not wish to be a member of the Organising Committee in which case, they should complete the patient participation form by which they are agreeing to be a member of the Virtual Group of the PPG.

We may contact you via the Committee or Surgery by email a few times each year. This may be to send Agendas/ Minutes of the Organising Committee meetings, ask you general questions about the practice as short questionnaires, or to invite you to attend the PPG AGM.

All patients of SHMC may volunteer to become members of the Committee and/or stand for office. Prior to the AGM, a meeting will usually be called for volunteers to attend and discuss their potential involvement with Committee members and PPG officers.

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else to join the PPG Organising Committee please complete the Patient Participation Group Registration form.

Latest Meeting Minutes

  • Date: 28th February 2024
  • Meeting held at: Strawberry Hill Medical Centre
  • Present: Louisa Walker (LW), Maggie Bates (MB), Jane Belcher (JB), Dr Imogen Caffrey (IC), Janice Cook (JC), David Stock (DS), Jane-Marie Stock (JS), Ros Quinn (RQ), Joan Blore (JoB), Mike Fereday (MF), Elizabeth O’Keeffe (EO), Ramesh Kommi (RK)
  • Apologies for the absence: Karen Swaffield (KS)

Voting and introduction of committee members

Mike Fereday, vice chair, chaired the meeting.

All self-nominated members were invited to the meeting and accepted onto the organising committee. Everyone introduced themselves.

The following appointments were made for 2024-25:

  • Karen Swaffield – chair
  • Mike Fereday – vice-chair
  • Maggie Bates and Jane-Marie Stock joint secretary

Conflict of interests


Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes for the last meeting were accepted and signed by MF.

MB thanked JMS for taking the minutes and writing them up.

Matters arising


MB expressed her disappointment in the very low turnout for the AGM, especially after the amount of advertising for it done by LW. A discussion followed as to how more advertising could be done for next year:

  • Posters at the chemists/pharmacies/hospital
  • NWN/Newbury Today
  • Message on the phone message when people ring into surgery
  • Blanket email – this may be available in the future
  • Newsletters at the Patient Information Point (PIP) at West
  • Berkshire Community Hospital (WBCH)

Mental Health Practitioner (MHP) replacement

The practice will be interviewing one candidate next Thursday, 7th March 2024.

MHP’s can do specific training at graduate or post graduate level.

Further updates from the practice (LW, IC)

New website

  • LW informed us that the draft of the new website will be ready in 5 working weeks. The contract with the previous website provider, Silicon, finishes at the end of April. LW has requested that the PPG section is made much clearer on the new website.
  • No staff changes reported.
  • Work is ongoing on the Care Navigation System. The aim is that everyone in the practice will have access to information on when and with whom patients need to be seen.

MF asked about Pharmacy First and how this was working since the launch on 31st January,2024. LW told us patients can be referred via the surgery or they can go directly to the pharmacy to have a consultation with the pharmacist.

EO raised a concern over how pharmacies will cope with this as there are now so few pharmacies/pharmacists in town and there are always queues simply to have prescriptions filled.

New pharmacies trying to set up business in the town centre seem to be being met with resistance. LW told us that in the future pharmacists will be able to give out prescriptions without getting them signed off by the lead pharmacist, therefore allowing the latter to have time for consultations.

LW informed us that the practice knows how many patients the Day Lewis pharmacy (next to SHMC) can manage and will refer patients within that capacity. There was some discussion about whether pharmacists would have the ability to diagnose conditions. Comparisons were made to European countries where such medications as anti-biotics and inhalers could be obtained from pharmacists ‘over the counter’. EO asked whether pharmacists would be able to access a patient’s summary care record, LW said yes they could with permission from a doctor or via the patient’s NHS app.

Find further information on Pharmacy First

What support, if any, can be offered to the surgery

MF suggested a workshop to explain the roles of the different staff members would be useful. IC explained that this would be costly on staffing and suggested we use the TV screens in the waiting rooms to pass on this information.

LW suggested another NHS app workshop in the autumn as she knows someone from BOB (short for Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB), Integrated Care System) who would be willing to come and lead it. The workshop in February was very successful, 46 people attended and some of this number have helped family and neighbours to use it.

IC talked about the difference in costs between branded and unbranded medications. JMS asked how the PPG could help with this and the only suggestions were to talk about it to others in conversations and when requesting medications, use the generic name rather than asking for a particular brand.

IC told us that the NHS are number 4 on the ‘green hit list’ ie. green and sustainability issues really need to be worked on. JMS explained how difficult it can be to recycle for example, empty tablet blister packs as where they can be recycled keeps changing. It would be good to be able to recycle things like inhalers, etc.

Other ideas for promoting information: Market stall or a stand outside the town hall

Patient Panel Report (MF)

Hampshire’s new hospitals were discussed.

He told the committee that he learned that if a patient had a heart attack they would be taken to Basingstoke, whilst if they had a stroke they would be taken to Southampton. MF told the panel about SHMC’s successful NHS app workshop. He said that the practice in Lambourn wanted to contact LW about how the workshop was run. LW reported that the practice in Thatcham had also approached her about it.

Website review

As previously reported, this is being built and will be ready in draft form in 5 weeks.


  • JB reported that the SHMC booklet which can be picked up at the PIP at WBCH needs to have the email address corrected.
  • JC told the committee she felt that the surgery was getting better and better. The general feeling from the committee supported this view. LW thanked everyone and said she would feed this back to the practice.
  • EO asked about the system for emergency prescriptions. IC said that verbal requests for medications were not allowed. Repeat prescriptions can be requested via the SHMC website or the NHS app. She added that Physician Associates (PA) cannot prescribe, although legislation will change on this. The PA can alert the doctor for prescriptions to be written. LW informed us that you do not have to nominate a specific pharmacy; the prescription can be assigned to ‘Any pharmacy’ which then allows the patient to use a barcode, through the app, at any pharmacy around the country. Please note that a doctor still needs to sign the repeat prescription off.

Dates of the next two PPG organising committee meetings

  • Wednesday 15th May 2024, 5.15pm at SHMC
  • Wednesday 21st August 2024 5.15 pm at SHMC

The meeting closed at 6pm.

Patient Participation Group Terms of Reference

  • Amendment agreed 19th January 2023
  • Reviewed 26/4/2022 for ratification at the AGM February 2023


The name of the group will be Strawberry Hill Medical Centre Patient Participation (PPG) Coordinating Committee

Aims of the PPG

  • To strengthen the relationship between the Practice & its patients and to assist the Practice in continuing to improve its provision of healthcare whilst ensuring that patients are at the heart of decision
  • making.
  • To work, collaboratively and positively, with the practice to improve services and facilities for patients and to act as a sounding board for practice staff on issues affecting patients.
  • To build two-way communication and cooperation between the practice and patients, other individuals and organisations in healthcare, and the wider community to the mutual benefit of all.
  • To act as a representative group to support the practice and influence local provision of health and social care.


Communication - Be a Voice for Patients

  • Be a voice for patients of the Centre by providing a forum for patients to give feedback & comments about the Centre
  • Support the communication of health messages
  • Where appropriate liaise with relevant health professionals and organisations
  • Use feedback from patients to take forward ideas and suggestions about potential improvements with the Centre, e.g. by annual survey
  • Support the CQC inspection process as appropriate
  • Contribute to a Patient Newsletter
  • Review patient targeted material eg PIP, brochures, information material, awareness board

Support - Help the practice to improve service delivery

  • Identify opportunities to improve the patient experience at the Centre
  • Promote improvements at the Centre by identifying developments and best practice through local, regional & national networks
  • Work alongside the Centre to facilitate change
  • Networking with appropriate groups to share experience and influence services

Good Practice - PPG Principles

  • Observe the Data Protection Act 2018 and amendments
  • Observe the Equalities Act 2012
  • Meetings will take place at least quarterly


  • Membership is open and free to all registered patients and employees
  • PPG is made up from those who have registered an interest in taking part. Contact will be by email or text or, where there is no other contact available, by post.
  • A coordinating Committee is formed from members of the PPG.
  • Any patient not wishing to be part of the Committee can elect to be part of the Virtual PPG where contact is made via email. (Amendment 19th January 2023)
  • Any patient may nominate themself for election to the Committee prior to the Annual General Meeting
  • The Committee will encourage a cross section of representation.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  • Once in each year, (month to be decided by the group,) an Annual General Meeting will be held at which any patient of the Centre will be entitled to attend
  • The date of this meeting will be advertised not less than 21 days prior to the meeting
  • Nominations for committee membership must be received by the Secretary a minimum of 14 days prior to the AGM
  • Additional resolutions must be received by the Secretary at least 14 days prior to the AGM
  • The meeting will receive the annual report from the Committee; appoint Committee members; make recommendations to the Committee and when necessary vote on proposals to amend the terms of reference.

Special General Meeting

  • A Special General Meeting will be held if not less than one third of the voting members of the current Committee request it in writing, stating the reasons, to the Chairperson or Secretary.
  • The date of the meeting will be advertised in the Practice for at least 14 days in advance and must be held within 21 days of receipt of a written request.

The Committee

  • The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will elect the Committee members
  • Any members can nominate themselves
  • The Committee will consist of a maximum of 12 elected members, a GP representing the practice and the practice manager
  • At its first meeting after the AGM the Committee will elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary
  • The roles of Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary will be for a maximum of three years for any person
  • The Committee will have the power to co-opt members from time to time
  • All members of the Committee will retire annually at the Annual General Meeting but will be eligible to be elected
  • A GP and Practice Manager will represent the medical centre at meetings. Should a matter for private discussion arise, the PPG may request that the Medical Centre representatives present at the meeting leave the room.


  • All questions arising at any meeting will be decided by a simple majority of those present and entitled to vote
  • The Chair of the meeting will have casting vote if there is no majority.


One third of committee members will form a quorum at meetings of the Committee.


  • Minutes will be kept, and the Secretary will enter a record of all decisions
  • The draft minutes will be uploaded onto the Centre website, approved in Draft by the Chair or Vice Chair, within three weeks of a meeting
  • Final minutes will be uploaded after full committee approval at the following meeting


  • If a confidential item/s is to appear on the agenda, for clarity it should be listed simply as ‘Confidential item’ with no supporting information included
  • The confidential item/s will be clearly marked at the end of the agenda and be dealt with separately during the meeting.
  • In publishing minutes of meetings on the Centre website, confidential items will be removed. At the end of the minutes will be inserted ‘The Committee discussed a number of confidential items’
  • Confidential minutes will be stored securely within the Centre
  • Confidential minutes, papers and agenda items will not be made available for inspection or be copied without the determination of the committee.


If the Committee decides at any time that on any grounds it is necessary to dissolve the committee it will call a Special General Meeting.

Alterations of the Terms of Reference

  • This Terms of Reference will be reviewed annually at the AGM
  • Any proposal to alter this constitution and terms of reference must be delivered in writing to the Secretary not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting and will be publicised in advance
  • An alteration will require the approval of a two thirds majority of Committee members or a simple majority of those voting at the AGM.

This Terms of Reference were adopted by Strawberry Hill Medical Centre PPG Coordinating Committee at a meeting on:

  • 22/04/2022 Chair K Swaffield Secretary M Bates
  • 19/01/2023 Chair K Swaffield Secretary M Bates
  • 23/02/2023 Chair K Swaffield Secretary M Bates

Privacy and Data Protection

Please be assured that your contact details, email address etc. are kept safe and secure and are never shared with anyone else. Any contact will be made by the Practice or the Organising Committee on behalf of the PPG.

No medical information is provided to the PPG nor will it be sought from the Practice.  No questions of a medical or other confidential nature will be responded to by the PPG or its officers. Any information you supply us will be used lawfully, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. The Data Protection Act 2018 gives you the right to know what information is held about you, and sets out rules – the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – to make sure that this information is handled correctly.