About the Patient Group

Forest Medical has an active Patient Group and meet up regularly.  You can get in touch using our website Contact Us form ur keep up todate with our latest meeting minutes here -

Forest Medical Patient Group Meeting 27th July 2023


1. Present

(FC) Chair; (NH) Secretary; (JB); (ED) ANP; (GK); (FG); (SN); (NR); (LD); (DE) Med Sec (minute taker). 

2. Apologies


3. Matters arising from the minutes


4. Chairman’s briefing update

(FC), current roles of chairman, secretary, and treasurer to remain the same as FC, NH, and FE happy to remain in those roles and proposals were all seconded by NR. Thanks to the PG members for the planting done at Oak Tree Lane surgery gardens. 

5. Practice Manager’s update

(NR) update on the building works. Everything seems to have started to move forward suddenly, this week with the all the electrics being done over the course of next week. Fire safety work has been slightly delayed beyond our control, but we still have an estimated time to take occupancy of the extension in October.  

There have been no staff changes since the last meeting. 

Memory walk will take place again this year. We will start at Oak Tree Lane Surgery on 23rd September at 11.00 and hit every pub on the way into town and onwards towards Rosemary Street Health Centre raising loads of money on the way for dementia.  

Trainee GP changeover will take place in the first 2 weeks of August, and we have 10 new trainees coming this time. Naturally this means we will be short of available appointments during those 2 weeks as they have their inductions.  

Complaints - Dina has taken over the handling of Complaints. None of them have been upheld and currently only one outstanding which has come in today. 

Compliments have mostly been in the form of gifts for reception of doughnuts, biscuits, cakes, and other assorted goodies rather than written thank you’s. FG verbally praised the care she had received both clinically and from reception.

Care homes and electronic prescription ordering - NR set up a dummy patient called Mansfield manor, and this has allowed them to order all residents prescriptions electronically. NR and LD will go to Mansfield Manor soon to make sure both systems are working with each other so they can see what happens at the other end of the order.  

List size- our list recently increased due to Willowbrook removing several patients who no longer live within their boundary. We currently have 17,533 patients registered on our list.

6. First guest speaker: SP from ABF - Army Benevolent Fund 

The ABF charity was set up by Winston Churchill in 1944 and is one of the largest charities in the military sector. Members of the army were asked to pay one day’s salary every year into the fund. 

The ABF assists other charities such as Help for Heroes and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailor’s, Army Families Association). Grants are made to individuals and other charities on a case-by-case basis.  Even if someone only served for 24 hours in the Army, they are still considered to be a veteran.

Much of the money goes to support independent living etc. A mental awareness centre has been funded at East Leak by the ABF.  

Funds are raised in many ways and in fact Shaun has just completed a bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats raising £15000 on the way.  Accommodation was sparce in military establishments due to the forces commitments so had to stay in B&Bs which the riders funded themselves.  

In 2021/2022 the ABF spent £8.4million supporting 65000 individuals in 48 different countries. Around £54,000 is spent every week on grants to individuals.  The oldest person the ABF has supported was 103 years and the youngest was 7 months. 

The job gets harder as people are living longer, but while ever there is a British Army there will be an ABF. 

How is the ABF funded? They raise money, invest it wisely and then spend it to meet the need. Shaun runs all the Midlands area for fund raising. This is no longer by shaking buckets in front of people in the streets, as people do not have spare change in their pockets at this time of the current cost of living crisis. The money comes mainly from the corporate world now. 98% of what they bring in goes out to help those in need. But they can only raise funds when people are aware of the charity. 

SP shares his role with 5 others across the country. There are 6 volunteer committees in the East and 6 in the West.      

NR informed that we do not seem to code enough patients to identify them as veterans despite the fact we have been identified as a veteran friendly practice. 

SP Informed there is an issue at times getting people to recognise themselves as veterans as they don’t want to be “labelled”. A lot of them try to “stay under the radar”. 

Going forward if a patient has been identified by a clinician as needing help with their mental health the clinician can directly contact SP and he will signpost them to SSAFA or the RBL.  

7. Second guest speaker: TB – PCN Mental Health Nurse

Recently joined Rosewood Primary Care Network PCN.  

Patients can be signposted to her via the GP’s and mental health OT Tracey, and she can start working with people over a 6-week period instead of a referring onto a very long waiting list in secondary care. She can set them on the right track to access help and to encourage self-help. Sometimes the patient does not fit the criteria for secondary care and when they are signposted to TB instead, she can often prevent some pretty drastic action being undertaken.  Historically patients have been rejected by secondary care mental health services if they are struggling with drug/alcohol problems.  TB can help these patients.  The patients would come and see a clinician as normal and then if appropriate for TB’s help the clinician would refer on to her. 

(ED) Patients are sometimes reluctant to come forward and ask for help with their mental health as there is still somewhat of a stigma involved. When they do come, they can be referred /signposted appropriately.  Appointments are always time restricted, but things are changing with regards to training and clinicians are being encouraged to look at the patient holistically, and not just to treat the first presenting symptom.

 8. AOB

One of our PPG members was recently referred for an x-ray.  After trying multiple times to call Kings Mill x-ray, she came in and asked for the number for Mansfield Community Hospital. She got straight through to them and had her x-ray 2 days later, commenting on what a really good experience she had, including the access to a parking space and the ease with which everything was available. She feels we should be encouraging patients to use MCH more as it would be awful if the powers that be decided it was being under used and it was to close. 

The total amount of funds available in the PPG pot currently totals £747.58. 

OTL dementia area is to be developed which will use some of the money in the pot. The dementia clock is ready to go up at OTL, this might even happen tomorrow. GK, JB, and NH have done some planting up at OTL and it all looks very nice. 

The call screen “ping” needs making louder as it is hardly audible, and you have to sit and not take your eyes off the screen. 

Surveys are slow to come in, so NR will ask the girls to give them a push and JB says she is happy to come in again and do some more. 

We had a large donation from a patient which included coins, stamps, and medals among other things. Some of which can go in the dementia cabinets, although a stronger lock would be a good idea. These can be rotated round and changed over on the days when we have a PG meeting to keep it looking fresh.      

Next meeting date is 21st September at 14.00

Close of meeting.