Patient Participation Group

Patient Participation Group - Terms of Reference

Who are we and what do we do?
In line with current NHS guidelines the Holmes Chapel Health Centre has a Patient Participation Group.  
Our Mission Statement:  
To be proactive in liaising with HCHC partners and management in seeking ways of improving service to and communication with the patient community.
Who are we?
We are a group of up to 15 members who are registered patients at the Health Centre with officers of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer to be elected annually at the AGM. Bimonthly meetings are held with the Health Centre Manager and a GP Partner also in attendance.
Main activities are:
  • To be a critical friend to the practice.
  • Enable regular communication with the patient population and support the direct communications from the Health Centre.
  • Advise the Health Centre from a patient perspective by providing insight into perception of service quality.
  • Encourage patients to take increased accountability for their health.
  • Research views of patients and feedback general consensus.
  • Support community events relating to health promotion.
  • Support HCHC in CQC inspections.
  • Continued PPG progress of objectives.
  • Support activities as PPG or HCHC as appropriate.
The PPG is not a channel for individual complaints, these should be sent directly to the Practice manager.
Current PPG members are Justin Snell (Chair), Jenny Manock (Secretary), Richard Jepson (Treasurer), Richard Rabone, Patricia Gordon, Lesley Reid, Patricia Cotton, Heather Williams, Cindy Finnie, Pamela Garnet, Michael Bowden.
You can get in touch with us via email or through our social media platforms #holmeschapelhealthcentreppg

The group would like to contact patients on occasion by email and/or text so that they can obtain the views of the widest group of patients possible. We would like to obtain your email address and mobile phone number to do this. Please complete the Patient Contact Form to provide your consent for this.

May 2023 PPG Newsletter

In this edition of the mag, I’m going to share some important news regarding the way the appointments system will work at the Health Centre from 5th June.

On the 5th June, and during the hours of 8am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday, the AccuRX online triage system will be relaunched for all appointment requests to see the medical team here at Holmes Chapel Health Centre. This brings the surgery in line with other practices here in Cheshire East, & is aimed at easing the significant rush for appointments at 8am. By moving completely to the online triage system used last year, it will ensure that patients can be seen by the right person within the appropriate clinical timescale. Non-urgent enquiries for medication, sick-notes, or other administrative enquiries will also be dealt with in the right manner through the online form.

Patients will be able to continue to request appointments with practice nurses, phlebotomy, & health care assistants by phoning or coming to reception, however for any other appointments, these will need to be requested through the AccuRx triage system. A link will be available on the Health Centre website (

Please do not worry if you do not have online access. If you cannot get to a computer, phone the surgery reception & a member of the team will fill it in for you. They will not be able to bypass this system, so only use this system if you are completely unable to fill in the online form. If you are able to complete it yourself online, or have someone else do it for you, then doing this will be quicker for you.

The system will be used for both routine and urgent appointment requests & all will be triaged on the same day by a member of the clinical team. The online system will be open from 8am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday. If you have an urgent issue beyond 3pm you will need to phone reception when a member of the team will take details & pass these to the triaging clinician who will decide if further action that day is required, such as a face-to-face or telephone appointment with either a GP, or any of the other trained medical staff.

Please do not demand your appointment request is dealt with in any other way, as the team at the other end of the line are not permitted to do this. This system works very well in other areas of East Cheshire, such as Wilmslow and Macclesfield, and there is no reason it will not work here. Lastly, please please please remember be kind to the reception team as they take you through the questions.

Rich, Holmes Chapel Health Centre PPG

April 2022 - PPG Newsletter

As we approach Easter, the PPG has begun preparing for this years fundraising. Following on from the huge success of last year’s Village Sports Day held at the Victoria Club, things are looking good for it to be repeated this year at the end of May. We managed to raise an amazing amount that enabled us to pay for 2 pieces of medical equipment, both of which have been used and appreciated by patients of the Health Centre. Naturally, we can’t make this a success without you, the village, so keep an eye out for details of all the events & how you can enter in the coming weeks.

At our last meeting with the Health Centre, we discussed how the new doctors & nurses are settling into the practice. So far, so good. We’re lucky to have a number of enhanced levels of specialist care, an example being nurse Kerry Jackson, whose knowledge of diabetic treatments is something most local GP practices can only hope to have.

The addition of staff to the practice means it’s also worth reminding patients that if your GP has left, & you’ve not yet been informed of who your new doctor is, that you’re not to worry. All patients are registered with the Health Centre, & not necessarily with a specific individual doctor. While the team on London Road will always try to provide continuity when dealing with your healthcare needs, sometimes you may need to be seen by another member of the practice & not your usual GP.

I’ll close this update from the PPG with an update on how the transition to electronic prescription has gone. From a practice point of view, after a couple of teething issues, it’s gone well. It has resulted in scripts being sent far quicker than previously possible, resulting in time & environmental cost savings. As such, they’re going to start phasing out paper prescriptions completely. As patients, this means that we can expect to see our nominated pharmacies receiving our scripts significantly sooner than we’ve been used to. Good news all round.

Last issue I thanked the GP & nursing teams for their efforts in getting through the winter flu season & staffing shortages with little impact on patient service. This time I’d like to show our appreciation for all the non-medical support staff, the receptionists, the accounts team, the cleaners, & centre management, without whom, the medical team could not do the job they do keeping us fit & healthy. I know you will all join me in acknowledging it’svery much appreciated.

Rich Jepson, HCHC PPG.

March 2023 PPG Newsletter

By the time these words go to print, we’ll have had the first PPG meeting of 2023. Cards on the table, it’s been a rough couple of months at the practice; sickness of both staff and patient has seen resources stretched further than before. And while some staff have left, others have joined the team, all of whom are looking forward to becoming an integral part of the community. Thank you to everyone at the practice for all your hard work, and to the village for bearing with them during this winter flu season.

We, as a PPG, are also gearing up for the coming year, working out what fundraising activities we can do, identifying the equipment we can buy, that will support the GPs’ desire to give us the best care possible. Fingers crossed we can replicate the success of last year‘s Community Sports Day! We have had quite a few people request to join the panel and help make a difference and we’ll be getting in touch with some of you in the coming weeks. If you’re a business and interested in supporting our fundraising, please contact us – our only aim is to help care for the village we’re so proud to live and work in.

In other news, the shift to electronic prescriptions has highlighted issues on the pharmacy side and while the online triage system that was switched off at the end of the last year as yet to be reinstated, the volume of face-to-face appointments has remained consistently high. I think we can take that to mean that despite staffing issues, the GP and nursing team at the Health Centre, worked their socks off…

Until next time.


Rich Jepson

Holmes Chapel Health Centre PPG

January 2023 PPG Newsletter

I’m writing this at the start of January, when the general news throughout the land at the beginning of 2023, sadly, has not exactly been all sweetness & light. The NHS is under immense pressures, some of which, still, are legacies from covid & the enormous strain that put on resources.

Our own GP surgery has not been immune to these pressures, just as everywhere else. Patient care requirement at times has far exceeded the capacity of the team at the Health Centre. Some of this is because of resource issues at A&E & other hospital departments, some from a perfect storm of seasonal flu and Covid-related illnesses throughout November, December & January. Indeed, the doctors on London Road have noticed patients have been far more likely to go straight to see their own GP rather than other health care providers because they know the extra services provided by HC Health Centre mean they’re more likely to get their issues resolved. Which is a good thing I guess!

The end of the year also saw a couple of GP doctors leave the practise through retirement & career progression. Thankfully, the recruitment drive undertaken by the management team, along with the reputation of the practise being seen as a good place to work, has resulted in several new NHS professionals coming on board. By the time this article comes through your letterbox, they’ll be embedded into the practise & dealing with us all.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the team at the Health Centre, for everything they continue to do for the village & for looking after us all. I’d also like to thank you, dear reader, for the understanding and patience you show to the reception, triage & GP teams, when they have tried to give the best care possible while having been under some of the most intense pressure that our health service has seen for a long time.

Until next time.
The Patient Participation Group.

December 2022 PPG Newsletter

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Holmes Chapel Health Centre’s PPG newsletter, & it’s been a busy few months for the healthcare team at the London Road surgery. The kit the village fundraised for over summer has been ordered & is expected to be in use by the team in the next few weeks, so thank you again for your support. We’re going through the process of identifying the next piece of kit to fundraise for, & we’ll keep you updated on the progress through these pages.

We’ve also said goodbye to a few familiar faces at the surgery, with a couple of retirements. While that’s put a little short-term pressure on the practice, the good news is that in the face of a country-wide nurse shortage, the team at the surgery have recruited 4 nurses to Holmes Chapel. The first new appointment will be starting next month, with all 4 new recruits on board by February.

In other news, technology is proving to be a bit of a bugbear, in particular with the dispensary computers on a go-slow. This is obviously not great, with queues building at some busy periods. There’s nothing much the dispensing team can do to improve things, with central government procurement contracts determining the software used. We, as patients, sometimes need to remember this, & while it can be an inconvenience, it’s not the fault of the team giving you your medicine. Nobody comes to work to get shouted at, let alone to deliberately inconvenience you as patients, so let’s please respect them.

That’s pretty much it for this year - & I think I can safely say it’s been another funny 12 months too. The post-Covid impact on patient health is still significant, but importantly, it is being managed as well as possible by the GP team here. We, the Patients Participatory Group, have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the village this last year, and very much look forward to seeing what else we can achieve with your support, in 2023.

Until next time, Merry Christmas & a healthy New Year.



November 2022 PPG Newsletter

I’m writing this days after our last meeting with the Health Centre management team.

As things stand, as patients we’re in a pretty good position. Despite losing a couple of doctors to retirement, there are new faces joining the practice, and the GP training program means they have a wealth of back up to call on if needed.

The 2 pieces of equipment that we fundraised for back at the end of August, have been ordered, so it shouldn’t be too long before we see them installed and used at the surgery. It’s worth noting again, that the equipment we fundraise for is over and above what the surgery is obligated to do, and by giving them the ability to buy specific items, they can help us more effectively when we need them.

It should also come as no surprise that we, as a catchment area, are somewhat atypical, and the stats that were presented to us at the meeting showed that we have more elderly people using the Health Centre than in either the Congleton regional care group, and the overall national average. Given the proportion of budget allocated to GP’s out of the Governments overall spend is currently less than 5%, the support we (you!) can give the doctors here is helping them to help us more effectively.

Last thing to note is that the surgery is now fully electronic in terms of how it gives your prescription to your chosen pharmacy. You can choose which pharmacy you want this to go to. The default option is for Lloyds, but for dispensary patients, this is the one at the surgery. If you are still unhappy with the level of service from your current pharmacy, then you can and should let the surgery know where you want your prescriptions to be sent, be it another local chemist or online.

Until next time…

Holmes Chapel Health Centre PPG.

October 2022 PPG Newsletter

Welcome to another update from the Holmes Chapel Health Centre Patient Participation Group or the PPG (what was the old Patient Panel). Just to recap for those who may not know about what this is, we’re a group of volunteers who regularly meet with doctors & management at the Health Centre, to help feedback into them general concerns, & support the practice in their efforts to provide the best treatments to their patients. We do this by fundraising for specific pieces of equipment that they may not ordinarily be able to get. We’re always on the look out for new members, so if you’re a registered patient of the Health Centre who’s interested in what we do, please get in touch with us at


Since the last time we updated you via the Villages Mag, the Health Centre has in the 90 days to mid-August, dealt with over 3,500 triage requests through their online system. Roughly half of these triage submissions end up in a face-to-face appointment for those who need to see a doctor or nurse at the Health Centre, meaning the system is helping to quickly identify those who are in most need of help.


The results from this years National GP Survey have also been published, and the great news is that our Health Centre has scored 7% above the national average for good overall patient experiences. They also scored a whopping 11% above the national average for satisfaction of how helpful the receptionists are. Great news, and it shows that the staff at the Health Centre are providing as good a service as possible. The partners and management team have also been awarded a Gold Certificate from The University of Manchester for the support they’ve given to training up the next generation of NHS medical students this year – something that is vital if we’re to get the health services we need in the coming years.


Following on from this, it’s important to remember that appointments to see a doctor or nurse (except for urgent duty doctor requests) can’t be made face to face with the receptionists at the Health Centre. This needs to be done either over the phone or online, so please don’t be horrible to the staff when they say they can’t make an appointment when you’re there. The online appointment system can be found at or over the phone on 01477 533100


Finally, a massive £934 was raised by the generosity of people attending the Victoria Club Annual Sports Day earlier this month. This huge amount now enables the PPG to fund 2 new pieces of equipment for the Health Centre: an ear irrigation device that will be used to help provide a free service use for what would otherwise be chargeable by the private sector; and an additional nebuliser to be used in emergency situations at the surgery. Both of these pieces of kit will enable the Health Centre to provide services over and above that of their NHS obligations, and thus help the patients get better treatments.


Until next time

Rich Jepson, HCHCPPG