Patient Participation Group


Our Patient Participation Group (PPG) meets to provide a forum for discussion about the practice.

Strettondale Patient Participation Group (SPPG) is a volunteer group of patients of the Church Stretton Medical Practice. Our objectives are to represent patients views, facilitate communication,  influence the workings of the Medical Practice and promote better understanding and mutual support for the benefit of all.

The SPPG meets every six weeks or so with a member of the Medical Practice in attendance. Twice a year we meet with several of the doctors for an in-depth discussion of particular matters that affect the services being offered to patients


How to contact the SPPG

In the Medical Practice reception area is a notice board with information about the SPPG committee and a comments/suggestion box. This box is for you to post any comments about your experience with the Medical Practice, which can be done anonymously. It is opened by the SPPG who consider every item received then discuss them with the Medical Practice.

Alternatively, please contact them via our secure online form or You can also send comments to the PPG via email

Latest Meeting Minutes

  • Date 16th April 2024
  • Time 3:30pm @ Art Room, Mayfair
  • Meeting called to order by Alison Phillips

In attendance

  • Alison Phillips, David Woolgar, Amanda Bedding,
  • Visitors: Deborah Shepherd PCN, Debbie Davies PCN.
  • Apologies: Emma Cotton, Louise Price, Moriel Gidney, Madeline Egan, Helen Sanson.

Minutes from the last meeting

The minutes were read from the meeting 5th February 2024 and agreed by all.

Talk from Deborah Shepherd (SW Clinical Director Shropshire PCN) and Debbie Davies (SW PCN Manager)

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are a group of practices working together to improve local patient care. Fist established in 2019, their aim is to build on the core of existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalized, coordinated and more integrated health and social care.

PCNs are based on GP registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000. They do not replace individual practices but work with and for them to support and sustain, then enhance the range of services they offer the community.

This PCN set up and delivered the Covid vaccination program for Southwest Shropshire (SWS) and continues to do so. In 2023, Deborah Shepherd was recruited to Clinical Director and Debbie Davies to PCN manager, and both are starting to establish the PCN on a firmer footing with clear mission, vision and infrastructure.

Vision Statement

  • We will collaborate and innovate to provide a modern sustainable general practice to our communities.
  • We will work with and coordinate health and social care services around practices and communities.
  • We will improve children’s and adults’ mental health.

The PCN has a new management and leadership team and is recruiting several new roles. The PCN has recruited a new team of clinical pharmacists who will reduce the workload managed by practices. The pharmacists will undertake medicine reviews and help with medication queries. They will support vaccination campaigns and are also qualified to undertake long term condition reviews.

The PCN has a new team of care coordinators.

  • A digital care coordinator to improve patient care making best use of digital services and data.
  • A cancer care coordinator to improve the care given to people living with cancer.
  • A pro-active care coordinator supporting the practice and PCN in a proactive care pilot and to be a health inequalities lead.

Mental Health services are expanding with a new mental health practitioner who will be working with community psychologists as well as the services social prescribers and wellbeing coaches offer.

A “First Contact Physio” service is to be launched working with the Shropshire Community Healthcare Trust. Community hubs will be established to deliver these close to patients and practices. Three new physios will split their time between clinic and working for the PCN. The aim is to reduce pressure on the GP’ s. They will provide non-referral assessment and diagnosis. Patients will be able to book in directly with the physio via the GP practice.

In Bishops Castle, space is available in BCCH which will support these new initiatives. In Ludlow, PCN are working with the Local Authority to set up a Community and Family hub in Ludlow Youth Centre. PCN themselves have just relocated to Ludlow’s Youth Centre. They also have close links with Church Stretton Mayfair Centre.

PCN funding has helped member practices take on additional practice-based staff. For Church Stretton, this has resulted in a new Advanced Nurse practitioner and a Care Coordinator.

The practices forming a PCN must work to a specific contract which requires them to deliver certain services and gives flexibility for them to deliver other locally determined services if resources are available. This year, the focus has been on improving capacity and access and a new access plan has been developed.

Church Stretton surgery’s capacity and access plan has resulted in the practice upgrading their telephone system. Improvements to the website have also been made to allow patients better information about the services available. The reception staff have been trained as care navigators and are able to direct the patient to the most appropriate professional to meet their needs. This may not always be the GP and might be someone outside of the practice, e.g. One of the PCN staff or external service.

The PCN have also invested in a data dashboard to enable to record and communicate more easily with patients via text messages.

Medical practice report

Covid Spring Booster clinic

We are in the process of planning these for eligible patients (those over 75 years and immune suppressed patients). Invitations should be going out later this week for the first clinic at the end of May, timings, and date to be confirmed at the right time. Invitations will be sent via text/smart message in the first instance and then by either e-mail or letter for those that require it. Eligible patients will be invited in 30-minute time slots and this year we are spreading the very elderly over a wider time scale to try and avoid lengthy queues. Please note that if people come at their allotted time and anyone that struggles to stand makes themselves known the queue should keep moving. If anyone is unable to attend, they will be re-invited later. Alternatively, they can book a vaccination via the message that is coming from the NHS at a central vaccination clinic, but we would encourage patients NOT to contact the Practice. The Care Homes are being vaccinated 16 April

High rate of patients not attending appointment

Despite several messages on facebook and via community messaging we are still experiencing a high rate of wasted appointments when people do not attend a booked appointment. By 3pm today we already had five lost appointments. I appreciate there is a lot of frustration at the routine appointment wait time now which is encouraging some patients to book ‘just in case’ slots but they then forget to cancel them if not needed, despite us sending a reminder out before the appointment. If people did cancel unwanted appointments it would bring down the routine wait time.

New Entrance

We continue to collate quotes for the proposed changes to the entrance to the Practice. Unfortunately, the existing front door is beyond repair on one side, anyone requiring help to enter the practice should ring the bell and a member of staff will come and assist them with the door. Whilst we need to replace the door the process to apply for funding is not a quick one and unfortunately it will not be sorted soon as we also need to get planning permission.

Appointment waiting times

Whilst we have had a difficult couple of months that has seen routine appointment times get as high as 5 weeks these are now coming back down. There were a series of unavoidable events that lead to this situation which we had to deal with but we remain under the national average for wait times.

CQC Inspection

We had a CQC inspection under the ‘Equality of Access’ heading in early February. I am happy to report that we retained our Good assessment and the report should be available on the CQC website in the near future.

Our Health Partnership

With effect from 31 March we are no longer part of Our Health Partnership, we made the decision late last year that membership was no longer as beneficial as it had once been and we are now a completely independent Medical Practice again.

Communication box and emails

Nothing received

Joint review and scrutiny committee

No information

Financial Matter

Nothing to report

SPPG Emails

Alison asked whether the group’s continual receipt of Shropshire Patients Groups newsletter emails were valuable. David Woolgar suggested continuing to receive them, however, a more focused approach to which information is of relevance needs to be brought to the meeting. For example, BBC news ambulance waiting times. It was agreed that everyone ought to click on the items of most interest and bring them to the meeting for discussion.

Next meeting

The next meeting was arranged for the Mayfair Art Centre at 3.30pm on Monday June 3rd, 2024