Patient Participation Group

Minutes of the Practice patient participation group meeting held at whalley medical centre on the 4 APRIL 2023 at 6.30pm


Luan Stewart ~ Katie Read ~ Christine Bullamore ~ Janine Telfer ~ Maureen Sadler

 Apologies for absence

Apologies of absence were received from Stephen Finn, Gail Baker and June Brown.

Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting had been distributed to members of the Patient Participation Group and were passed as correct. 


As the new Practice Manager for Sabden and Whalley Medical Group, Luan introduced herself to the group.  Although new to Whalley, Luan’s career in the NHS started many years ago, and most recently she was employed as a Practice Manager at a large practice in Blackpool.  The Practice Team have welcomed Luan’s experience and extensive knowledge of Primary Care and feel she will be an asset to the Practice.

From the 31 March 2023 Dr Thornber became a GP Partner.  This has been a natural progression for Dr Thornber who started as a GP Registrar, continued as a Salaried GP and has now gone on to be a GP Partner.  Dr Sethi our current GP Registrar will be staying at the Practice as a Salaried GP once her training contract finishes in August 2023.  From Summer 2023 the Practice will also be welcoming a Paramedic to the clinical team.

Two of our dispensing assistants, Jodie and Jess, have changed roles and will be working for the PCN as Pharmacy Technicians alongside our Clinical Pharmacist, Conor.  Therefore, we have recruited two new dispensing assistants for our dispensary, Joanne who has previously worked in local Pharmacies and GP Surgeries, and Danielle who is already employed by the Practice as a receptionist.

The reception team has had a few new recruits over recent months, Harriet is covering maternity leave until August 2023 and Sheryl came from the ambulance service to work as a receptionist with us in March 2023.  Julie will be starting at the Practice in May 2023 having many years of reception experience working at a local college. Alex started as an apprentice with us in March 2023 and will be working mainly in reception, but will also spend time with the dispensary and administration teams.  Janette and Becky joined the administration team in Autumn 2023 assisting with the secretarial and data coding duties.


The Practice is in the process of developing the premises at both sites. With a consistently increasing list size, these improvements are crucial for the Practice to be able to manage capacity and meet future patient population demands.

At Sabden Surgery, we are currently in the process of repurposing office space upstairs into two new consulting rooms.  There will also be an overhaul and refresh of the existing dispensary and reception area, the two downstairs consulting rooms, and the patient waiting area.  The work should hopefully be completed by early Summer 2023.

The Practice has also made a planning application to extend the premises at Whalley Surgery.  If the application is approved the extension will provide four new consulting rooms on the ground floor, a meeting room on the upper floor, and allow for the development of existing workspace to accommodate an ever-increasing workforce. 


Enhanced Access Service

From the 1 April 2023, alongside the team at Pendleside Medical Practice, the Practice will be running the Enhanced Access Service for Ribblesdale PCN.  Through this service, we will be offering appointments at Whalley Surgery on Monday, Wednesday and Friday early mornings, Monday and Wednesday evenings, and alternate Saturday mornings.  These appointments will be a mixture of GP, ANP, Phlebotomy, Clinical Pharmacist and HCA.  We hope that this will ensure an improved and more useful service for our patients than has been offered previously.

Covid Spring Booster Vaccinations

The Practice will be offering vaccinations in line with the government’s Covid Spring Booster programme.  We be vaccinating care home residents over the next two weeks, we will start vaccinating housebound patients in the following weeks, and we will be operating vaccination clinics from Whalley Surgery later this month and into May.  As previously, eligible patients will receive an invite from the Practice.

Practice Newsletter

Luan is keen to introduce a quarterly Practice Newsletter starting in Spring 2023.  If any group members have any ideas and suggestions for the content of the Newsletter your input would be greatly appreciated.

Practice Registration Boundary

Janine Telfer asked if a map of the Practice registration area boundaries could be added to the website.  Luan agreed this would be useful and will arrange for the website to be updated with this information.

Photography Competition

The Practice is currently holding a photography competition where patients of the Practice are invited to submit their photographs of the local area.  The winning entry will receive a canvas of their photograph, and it will also be displayed at Sabden Surgery once the renovations are completed.  Luan asked if members of the PPG would be happy to judge to the competition and all members present confirmed that they would be pleased to do so.

Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 11 July 2023 at 6.30pm.