EMSWORTH PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2020
It has been an unusual year in many respects, the Covid Virus having disrupted our ability to meet, and most of our other functions. However, there are positives.
In January 2020 the negotiations for the acquisition and refurbishment for the new Medical Centre at the old Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital reached a satisfactory conclusion, funding approved and contractors ready to begin the considerable task of fulfilling the alterations in a time scale of just over a year. I have been delighted to have played a part in this with many meetings in a committee of representatives of a number of local organisations and the Clinical Commissioning Group and I am sure that the whole community will benefit from the larger and more comprehensive centre. In addition to our team at the surgery, a professional interior designer has been appointed to help with the décor and furnishings. I had the privilege to be shown around the site by the Architect before serious building work commenced and will look forward to seeing the completed transformation in the coming months.
The Surgery was also part of the new surgery groupings called Primary Care Networks (PCN’s) with the two Haying Island Practices led by Dr Hannah Morgan from Hayling and our own Dr William Denby. These were set up to encompass groups of up to 100,000 patients. Our PCN, the Hayling and Emsworth Primary Care Network, has 30,000 patients. One big advantage is that the PCN’s can take on additional staff to support the clinicians and these staff can be appointed to cover all three Practices. To this end I was absolutely delighted that two Community Pharmacists, a Pharmacy Technician together with two Social Prescribers have been appointed to work between the three surgeries of the PCN, together with our Nurse Practitioner and other experienced Practice nurses who will give invaluable support to our doctors, especially in this most difficult time. I went with Dr Denby to a day of Social Prescribing and how they work, at Hayling, which was most interesting. They do a wonderful job.
With regard to our involvement with the Emsworth defibrillators, Janet, who has worked so hard on the setting up of these, has now taken a well learned rest and handed over to the very capable hands of Mike Evans who is doing a splendid job. He has also taken on the task of liaising with local artists for the provision of paintings in the new surgery. Thank you Janet and Mike.
The Covid Pandemic has brought about considerable disruption, including to the Luncheon Club which had to be cancelled, but thanks Mary for keeping in touch with our remaining participants.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we had to cancel the planned talk by Angela Birnie, a consultant from Chichester who was due to talk on the important subject of female urology. We also had to cancel the PPG’s planned fund raising projects for extras for the new surgery. However, generous grants from the Friends of Emsworth Community Health organisation and the Health Trust were gratefully accepted and I applied on behalf of the PPG for a grant from the Havant (Borough) Community Levy fund.
Since our February meeting, there have been no further meetings at the surgery, but in June, September, October, and November we held meetings via Zoom. Thanks to Mike for setting them up, and these were useful although a few of the members could not set them up. Very grateful thanks go to Will, Kate and Sally for attending the meetings and particular thanks to Jennie who has constructed the Minutes with such efficiency in the most difficult circumstances. Thanks also to all the PPG members for their contributions.
I should also pay tribute to the surgery staff who are working very long hours with the Covid Vaccination programme. What a task! The staff have received much praise for their efficiency and organisation.
We should now look forward to the future and overcoming the devastation caused by this horrible virus, which, as viruses do, mutates at will and spreads so rapidly, and, of course, the completion and moving to the new Emsworth Medical Centre this spring.
Jim Strudwick, Chair, Emsworth PPG