Patient Participant Group – Newsletter January 2023

Posted by: marcia - Posted on:

Norheads Lane surgery

  January 2023


Welcome to this special New Year’s edition of the Norheads Lane Surgery PPG newsletter. We present here a brief overview of the PPG and its aims together with an introduction to the Five Elms Primary Care Network (PCN), of which we are a member. But first, let’s look at the PPG.

What is the PPG?

The purpose of the Patient Participation Group, PPG, is to provide a forum for the involvement of patients with the work of the Norheads Lane surgery. Its membership potentially covers all patients as well as the doctors and surgery staff. In 2016 it became a contractual requirement for all GP surgeries in England to establish a PPG. All the country’s PPGs have similar objectives, but they may differ a little in the details of their organisation and services.

The PPG is managed by an executive committee comprising the surgery’s two doctors and the Practice manager, and several patients.  The PPG Executive committee is headed by a chairman supported by a secretary and treasurer. It meets frequently throughout the year and holds an AGM usually in the June or July. We are keen for as wide a range of patients as possible to join the Executive Committee and support our activities.

What does the PPG do?  

The PPG Executive Committee members provide:

  • information about events at the surgery – e.g., flu vaccination clinics – delivered by emailed newsletters, surgery entrance notice board, or word of mouth;
  • support to the practice nurse by supervising the queues for vaccination clinics;
  • raise funds for providing equipment for the surgery – e.g., clinical couch (see back page);
  • representation at the Five Elms PCN meetings (see next page).

We are always trying to widen our reach out to patients by adding to our email list. We are also keen to broaden the range of patients on the Executive Committee: if you would like to participate, please contact the PPG Chairman, David Dilling at [email protected].


What is the PCN?

Primary Care Networks (PCN) have been established across the country since 2019 as part of the NHS Long Term Plan for Primary and Community Care. Each of these PCNs incorporates several local GP practices. The aim is for the PCN to provide a number of additional services and support for patients and the GP practices. As explained below, the idea is that greater benefits are achieved by providing the PCN’s additional resources centrally rather than spreading them thinly across each surgery. The PCN aims to join-up the work of General Practices, Community Services, Mental Health Services, Social Care, and various Voluntary Organisations – creating “holistic care”.

There are five PCNs covering the Borough of Bromley. Our Norheads Lane GP practice falls within the Five Elms PCN, along with GP practices at Stock Hill, Southborough Lane, Bromley Common, and Summercroft. These five GP practices provide care for a total of just over

45,000 patients. The Clinical Director for Five Elms PCN is Dr Taraq Waheed, who is based at Southborough Lane GP practice. [web address:].

What services does our PCN provide?

The Five Elms PCN is currently setting up a multi-disciplinary team comprising Clinical

Pharmacists, Nurse Specialists, Care Co-ordinators, Paramedics, Physician Associates, Social Prescribers, and Mental Health Practitioners. The team already has 13 full and part-time people covering these roles, and more are now being recruited.  Team members are located centrally, but they may also visit each of the five surgeries, typically one day a week. At the moment, patients are being referred to the PCN practitioners by the GPs. However, this may change in the future as new methods of working become established.

Representatives (usually two from the Executive Committees) of the five surgery PPGs attend the coordination meetings run by the Five Elms PCN, to discuss new ideas for PCN services and procedures.

Our PCN is progressively trialling new patient services, support for the GP practices, and the best way for patients to access them. One example of a recently introduced new service is a series of fortnightly Saturday clinics run by Practice Nurses at various locations. These are addressing the provision of smear test, COPD, Asthma, and Diabetic patient reviews. The surgeries are running their own clinical system searches to identify which patients fit the criteria and inviting them to the relevant PCN clinic. Please note that currently attendance at the PCN Saturday clinics is by invitation only.

Some more information on the various roles in the PCN team:

Clinical Pharmacists

Clinical Pharmacists (CPs) are responsible for reviewing a patient’s medication and dealing with their enquiries. They work closely with the GP surgeries and pharmacists in medicine management and optimisation of medication for the patient. The PCN currently has five CPs.

Nurse Specialists

The PCN has experienced Practice Nurses who also have specialist knowledge in areas such as chronic disease management – e.g., Diabetes, COPD, and Asthma.

Physician Associate

A Physician Associate (PA) oversees care for patients beginning with history taking, then clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of care – under the supervision of a GP.

Care Co-ordinators

Care Co-ordinators (CCs) have responsibility for bridging the gap between patients and healthcare professionals by organising a personalised care plan focussed on the patient’s needs.

Mental Health Practitioner

Mental Health Practitioners (MHPs) work closely with others in the PCN team to address the needs of patients with mental health problems. Examples of their work include liaising with clinical pharmacists for medication reviews and linking to Social Prescribers for arranging community-based support.


The paramedics within the PCN may provide an alternative option to urgent GP home visits. They may also triage patients, advise on general healthcare, as well as perform specialist health checks such as ECGs.

Social Prescribers

Social Prescribers (SPs) working closely with other members of the PCN take a holistic approach to assessing the needs of a patient and arrange for appropriate local non-medical care activities. Examples of the activities include attendance at day-care centres, a variety of club activities, and assisted shopping.


Useful Information on the local community care services available (No GP referral required).


Tel: 01959 577400; email: bigginhillcommunitycare@gmail; website:


As mentioned on page 1, one of the activities of the PPG Executive is that of raising funds to support to work of the Norheads lane GP practice. A recent example of successful fundraising was the purchase of a medical examination couch for Dr Balanie Idowu‘s consultation room.  

Our current fund-raising scheme is the 50:50 club.

 The 50:50 Club

This fundraising scheme is based on 50:50 club members paying £12 for a numbered ticket covering a year’s worth of monthly draws. The draws will be made on the 3rd Wednesday each month at the Norheads Lane surgery premises. Eligible ticket numbers will be added to a random number generator and the drawn ticket will be awarded a monetary prize to the value of 50% of the total monies for that month.

50:50 club members must be a patient at Norheads Lane surgery or complete their application for club membership at the surgery premises. Members may buy any number of annual tickets, each of which will be eligible for the monthly draws.

This Club began in April 2022 with 47 members who all paid £12 for the year until April 2023.

The Club’s first draw awarded the lucky owner of ticket number 15 the prize of £23.50, which represented 50% of the initial prize pot of £47. The other 50% went to the PPG account. In this way, both the surgery and the club members benefit from each draw. As new members join, so the price increases. The recent draw (December 2022) was ticket 25, with a prize of £32.50, reflecting the increase in Club membership from 47 to 65.

We will be contacting Club members soon to arrange for 23/24 annual subscriptions and we would like to encourage Standing Orders to be set up, where possible, please.

Thank you to all our 50:50 Club members, who have made significant contributions to the costs of the clinical beds recently purchased by the surgery.

If you would like to join the 50:50 club, please ask at the surgery or contact Lynne Martin at [email protected]