The PPG’s involvement in the development of the practice’s new website

Swanage Medical Practice PPG continued to meet virtually throughout the pandemic and, at its meeting in September 2021, we discussed the results of the 2021 GP Patient Survey. The GPs and staff at the practice had already discussed the survey results and felt that the most important issue to address was communication. PPG members agreed and were keen to work with the practice on this issue.

Following the meeting, Gill Foott kindly put me in touch with the Chair of the Cranborne Practice PPG, as they had also been working with their practice to improve communication. One of the actions they had taken was to help their practice develop a more user friendly website.

Swanage Surgery building from the outside

I then met with the practice manager and we agreed that creating a new website should also be a priority for the Swanage Practice – more than a quarter of those who had responded to the patient survey had indicated that it was not easy to use the practice’s current website to look for information or to access services.

The practice subsequently agreed to go ahead with setting up a new website – and to work with the same company used by the Cranborne Practice. PPG members were invited to get involved and, in March 2022, we were given the opportunity to comment on the website before it was launched.
Over the next few weeks, PPG members submitted detailed comments on the overall layout of the website and on the content of each webpage. The majority of these comments were taken on board. I also took this opportunity to review and update the content of the PPG page on the website. When the PPG met in May 2022, our first face-to-face meeting since before the pandemic, the practice manager thanked PPG members for all the input they had provided to the process.

The new website went live on 18 May 2022.

We continue to review the content of the website and to make suggestions for areas that we feel could be improved. For example, in September, we noticed that the information about COVID-19 needed to be updated.

The home page also includes a section where the PPG can highlight particular areas of community interest and we now review this at each of our meetings. For example, at our September meeting, we agreed that information about the advice and support available to help people with the cost of living crisis should be included on the website and that this should also be included on the homepage as one of the areas of community interest the PPG wishes to highlight.

We are all hoping that, when patients are surveyed again in 2023, they will also find the new website easier to use.

Mrs Margaret Broadhurst (Dr Margaret Guy)
Swanage Medical Practice PPG
2 November 2022