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Len Valley Practice
Groom Way Lenham Maidstone Kent ME17 2QF
Tel: (01622) 858 341
Fax: Not Applicable
Out of Hours: 111
The next Practice Closure Afternoon will be from 1.00 pm on Wedneday 15th May 2019

What is the Len Valley PPG?

All GP practices set out to promote active engagement with their patients to ensure they are involved in ongoing planning and decision making about the practice.  
Len Valley Patient Participation Group is a group of registered patients, representative of the practice population, who meet regularly to discuss issues and ways of improving services for the benefit of patients.

What is it not?

It’s not an appreciation society…
A healthy and productive PPG is one which achieves a balance between due praise and constructive challenge. The role of the Len Valley PPG is therefore often described as that of a critical friend; a group which can both support and be ambassadorial for the practice but which is also comfortable questioning and potentially contesting plans and proposals.
It’s not an exclusive or elite group…
A PPG is not about a handful of self selected registered patients meeting up on a regular basis.  We are mindful that the Len Valley PPG is there to serve the full practice population. We are keen to identify members from the wide range of patients and their needs such as young, old, mental health service users, carers, travellers, people with learning disabilities etc. to join us.
It’s not about individual patient queries or complaints…
(Unless they are an example of a broader issue).  Individual patient queries or complaints should still be directed to the practice, as they are in the best position to resolve them.

What issues do we look at?

The PPG works with the practice to look at specific practice issues such as access to appointments etc, but also at the ‘bigger picture’ of local services and how they are commissioned and provided. 
The specific practice issues we look at are discussed and agreed between the PPG and the practice.
Once these priority areas are identified, the practice undertakes and collates any necessary surveys/proposals and then discusses the results or proposals with the PPG.  We agree the action plan or way forward and publicise those actions on the practice website.

Who are we?

Carol McKeough (Current chair person)
Neil Pedlingham
Mairin Holland
Margaret Phillimore (Walking Group Lead)
Margot Lawlor
Janet Smith
Sadie Curtis (Walking Group Lead)
Gillian Watson
Sue Summers
Margaret Conan
Carol Burton
Diane Anderson (Practice Manager)
Aneta Jerrett (Virtual Member)
GP Member (by Annual Rota)

When do we meet?

We meet 6 times a year at 6.15 and usually on a Monday evening.  The meeting has an agenda sent out in advance and all meetings are minuted.  The minutes of every meeting are available in the practice

OK, I'm interested, what do I do?

Fill in the form on the 'Join our Patient Participation Group' Tab at the top of this page.


View our PPG End of Year Report 2015 >


FISH SCHEME - Harrietsham Helping Hands

This Scheme, which covers the Harrietsham area, has been in existence for well over forty years.  Among the services that we offer is assistance for those residents who require help in getting to the surgeries, collection and delivery of medication, and other essential tasks.  Do please contact me if you have a need with which we may assist or indeed if you would like to join our band of helpers.  Marjorie Darby  (01622) 850 657


LIFT Scheme (Lenham Is For Transport)

LIFT is the scheme where a volunteer driver can take a less able villager to the surgery and back, and/or collect prescriptions for them. All we ask is a small donation towards the cost of fuel.

Also we can now offer a hospital visit service where the driver will wait UP TO one hour and bring you home. There will be a cash donation of £13-50 for Maidstone Hospital required to be paid in cash on return. No voucher or cheques are acceptable.

If you would like to volunteer Please ring!


To enquire about the service or to volunteer, please get in touch: (07542) 625 277

Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services
For Leaflet click


Meeting Date: 20th August 2018 at 6.15 pm
Mairin Holland             Sally Phillips                Elaine Moles Hawley
Margot Lawlor             Sadie Curtis                Dr Kendrew
Carole Burton              Margaret Phillimore    Carol McKeough         Chair & minutes
Neil Pedlingham

  1. Elaine handed over a letter from Diane Anderson to the PPG explaining that she will be leaving her post as Practice Manager at the End of September. Elaine will be taking over the role of Practice Manager and will continue to manage the dispensary. Diane has been working with the PPG for 11 years and wished us well for the future.  All members wanted to give their thanks to Diane for her support of the PPG over the years. We welcomed Elaine as a permanent member of the PPG and wished her well for wedding which is planned for November.

Carol Had received apologies from Neil Pedlingham who has returned from Spain and is not able to attend the meeting due to pressure of work. He wishes to be considered as a virtual member of the PPG and will receive minutes.

  1. Update on plans for Harrietsham surgery were discussed and despite this being on the agenda for many years there are still complex issues to be addressed. Elaine attended a meeting about this a couple of weeks ago and found it to be rather confusing. She did not feel that there was any real progress and understands that the monies for the development are in different pots from different developers. The issue will be a standing item on the agenda for future meetings but we understand that any progress is likely to be slow.


  1. Practice update: the new telephone system is up and working. 5 options when patients get through on the main number 01622 858341, it is Dr Hagen’s voice explaining the options. This is the only number to get through to Lenham or Harrietsham surgeries now. Only 4 callers will be able to get through at a time so if it rings as engaged, patients will have to ring again. Calls are being answered quicker as now they can be picked up in Lenham or Harrietsham. We noted that the introduction by Dr Hagen was lengthy giving the 5 options. Badges are on order for practice staff and they will have the first name only. When answering the phone staff are required to give their name, so that patients will know who they are speaking to for future reference if necessary. PPG members were concerned that staff were sometimes subjected to anger and abuse on the phone- all agreed that this was inappropriate and staff members are advised to explain that the call will be discontinued if the abuse continues. Two New registrar’s have joined the practice they are Dr Eason at LVP until August 2019 and Dr H Mayala until March 2020.

The practice will soon have access to Physio’s First and this may be accessed by patients—not sure how this will work at this time.
Physio  First pilot. Our cluster has been awarded funding to provide a whole time physiotherapist.  5 practices within our cluster are doing the pilot, Len Valley being one.  The details are sketchy at the moment but it is expected that we will have a physio for one session or one day per week.  They may not necessarily be sited at LVP but we have been asked if we can host one, the idea being that he or she may also see patients from other practices. There is no start date as yet.

  1. CCG Update: Carol did not attend the last CCG chairs meeting in Sevenoaks. If the patients representatives on the CCG Board produce a summary of the issues discussed by the Board, Carol will circulate for information.


  1. Contribution to Lenham Family Festival Charity Fund: Carol will make contact with Janetta Sams to find out who the cheque for £35 needs to be made out to. She will write formally to Diane requesting the cheque and advise who it is to be made out to and how it is to be delivered. Janetta requested that the cheque be made out to Harrietsham and Lenham Parish Residents Association (they hold the funds for all the fund raising events taking place)  Over £5000 was raised over the Festival this year. Janetta said that if we want to advertise any events/talks/ AGM she will ensure that information is posted in the two parish newsletters and on the websites.


  1. Update for walking for health: Sadie and Margaret provided a verbal update on the walks and that new members still turn up on each of the days. The leaflets about the walks detailing the meetings places and length of each walk from beginners (post op or for people with limited mobility) to more advanced walks which may be up to 5 miles. The more advanced walks are usually 2.5 or 3.5 miles and meet is various places. Dr Kendrew mentioned the Park Runs that Doctors are encouraged to promote. Sally explained that she has involvement in Park runs as does her husband. These are 5K and some people do power walk rather than run.


  1. Criteria for Telephone Consultations: Dr Kendrew explained that routine appointments can be booked and currently they are about 2 weeks. It is possible to book on the day if there are slots left on the patient access booking on line system. The doctors may ask to speak with a patient by telephone (usually re medication review, routine test results etc) and a booking can be made by phone. Triage calls are back on the agenda in an attempt to weed out unnecessary appointments. If necessary the Dr will suggest the patient coming for a surgery appointment that day as an urgent. If a patient rings up and needs to see a Doctor that day that will be classed as an urgent appointment Cannot wait until next day). If all urgent slots are gone and the Doctor deems it essential to see the patient then this will be an emergency slot. (I am not sure I have this correct but hopefully Elaine or Dr Kendrew can provide an update)

All Doctor and Specialist Practioner Appointments are pre-bookable. These are booked via reception or online using Patient Access (provided a patient has signed up to this service) Please note: Nurses and Blood test cannot be booked online.
A doctor can request a routine telephone appointment with a patient to either discuss blood test results or medication reviews and these can be made via a routine telephone appointment – currently there is a 1 week wait.
Morning Appointments If a patient calls reception they will be given the next available pre bookable appt, if the patient cannot wait until then, reception will ask the patient what is the problem (as instructed by Doctors) and direct them accordingly.
Afternoon Appointments Triage calls have been reintroduced in the afternoons. The emergency Doctor will call the patient and decided if the patient needs to be seen: the patient will be asked to come to the surgery if needed – an emergency appointment will be booked by the emergency Doctor.

  1. Investing in lifestyle: The One You materials are all now in the practice and all GPs and practice staff are promoting the importance of patients taking some responsibility for their own health, Losing weight, stopping smoking and taking more exercise. Dr Kendew advised that Donna Clarke who had addressed the AGM 2 years ago has left her post and has not been replaced. This is very concerning as Donna was able to signpost patients to other resources to help them when their main needs were not directly related to their physical health.


  1. The programme for the Flu jabs has not been published so we have not been able to agree who will help at the surgeries. We agreed Elaine will advise Carol and she will alert Sadie and Margaret who have expressed a wish to assist. We did not find that providing refreshments was particularly useful but we did not that when Paul from MBC came with a display patients did stop for a while and talk in Lenham. This was not a success at the Harrietsham event even when we hired the hall to provide refreshments and a display.


  1. Dr Kendrew was asked about Gut Health, which appears to be more significant in overall body health. DR K will keep us updated.
  2. The issue of Post Brexit access to medication was mentioned but so far the practice is not aware of any specific arrangements regarding any shortages of medications.

I have some information on this for the next meeting if you are interested.

  1. Annual report for the AGM on 22nd October at 6.30: Carol asked for members to write and maybe add photos to make the report more interesting. Sadie/Margaret/Jan will write a section about Walking for health, Elaine will write a practice update, Sally or her husband will write about Park runs. Carol will write an overview of the year including the Lenham Family Festival and One You Kent. Contributions to Carol by the end of September please.


Join Our Patient Participation Group

When we have received your form, you will be contacted by a PPG member.

NOTE: You can save your details and automatically populate this form by creating an account.
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Join Our Patient Participation Group

Join Our Patient Participation Group

Please fill in the form below to join our PPG.

Full Member: You will attend regular meetings, complete surveys, and give your opinion on matters, when canvassed.
Virtual Member: You will complete surveys, and give your opinion on matters, when canvassed.

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