The combined leadership of Patient Participation Groups (PPG's) from across Thanet’s GP practices came together at TDC offices last week for the August session of the Thanet Health Reference Group. The reference group (which I chair as Thanet CCG Lay Member) works to support local health commissioners here in Thanet.


A serious debate about patients who miss GP and Nurse appointments took place. This is a topic that is high on the PPG Chairs list of priorities given the pressures on local NHS services and the difficulties many encounter when making appointments. Many factors can be involved when patients miss appointments and it was agreed that more investigative work on this issue was needed. Further information will be brought to the next meeting when future actions will be agreed.

Members were then brought up to date with progress on a Thanet Integrated Accountable Care Organisation (IACO). This included summaries and key issues arising from recent public engagement events through the ‘Esther’ patient involvement programme held in Margate and Ramsgate, and additional work taking place to improve support to GP practices regarding mental health services.

A very brief verbal summary of the - very recent - Broadstairs ‘Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plan Listening Event’ was given to members, but as the event had taken place just a few days earlier, it was agreed more comprehensive feedback would take place at the next meeting when more information will have been collated.

Members were also briefed on a forthcoming NHS England public consultation regarding pharmaceutical products.

These notes are extremely brief bullet-point summaries of lengthy discussions that take place in our meetings. I can’t thank our members from patient groups across Thanet enough for all their time and effort that is helping to inform local health service commissioners.


Clive Hart