East Croydon Medical Centre Patient Participation Group - ECMC PPG

What is it?

A  PPG is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and the patient experience to improve the service.


Our first meeting will be by Microsoft Teams Meetings video call (similar to Zoom) and will be the 30th of June. Time to be confirmed.

How do I participate?

If you would like to be a part of the East Croydon Medical Centre PPG, then please email your interest to SWLCCG.ECMCADMINISTRATION@NHS.NET, under the heading ECMC PPG.  There will be a limited number of seats on the PPG as we hope to be able to host these events face to face again in the near future, but for now due to Covid resrictions, we must continue via videao calls.


Minutes from 1st PPG Meeting - 26.8.21


PPG Meeting 26th August 2021



Dr McCrea (Senior GP Partner for East Croydon Medical Centre & Edridge Road Community Health Centre)

Huw James (Patient Services Manager for East Croydon Medical Centre & Edridge Road Community Health Centre)

Dr McCrea’s Registrar - Matt Prestwich

Greg Abbott- Patient

Ramachandran Nair - Patient

Hetal Jobanputra - Patient

Mira Armour - Patient


  • No objections to recording the meeting


  • Introductions made


  • Photos of demolition shared + floor plans:

Hoping for this to be finished, up and running in a year’s time, aiming for June 2022

Photos shared of what the new build will look like including lift shaft – this is on the website. The top floors will be the administration rooms, 3 floors of clinical rooms.

Detailed floorplans shown – 7 consultation rooms on ground floor, reception area, toilets and entrance. More spacious and up to date rooms.

Dr McCrea explained the new stairway that was recently built as there was confusion as to why the building was being demolished after just having this built - We were given funding for just a new lift then 18 months later after starting, an ECFC scheme came in and wanted to double the size of surgery and a few different Companies came into play who refused to share the funding so we had to carry on spending what funding we had and wouldn’t allow us to merge the 2 together.

Huw explained as a result of the demolition we have decamped down to Edridge Road Community Health Centre. Tour of this Surgery was offered. A question was raised on why the reception for ECMC is different at ERCHC as feels disjointed as if 2 separate surgeries. Huw explained we have 2 separate patient groups, we use different computer and filing systems and different doctors although we’re in one building we are a brother and sister surgery. In effect we are 2 distinct surgeries. Once new build is finished ECMC will return and ERCHC will carry on as normal, it’s purely for technical reasons so when patients arrive we know what system to use for them. Dr McCrea added it’s also to divide the queue and avoid overcrowding in one area as limited on space. We offer face to face but don’t want to go back to the old days where everyone is piled into the surgery and standing shoulder to shoulder, coughing and spluttering over each other. Hopefully, these days are over. One patient expressed that the waiting room in the old building was not suitable. We are looking to amalgamate surgeries in the future but this will take a bit longer.

  • PCN’s

Just before Covid started, PCN’s came in. This is where groups of Practices join together to form a Primary Care Network based between 30,000-50,000 so we teamed up on a geography basis and amalgamated with St James’s Practice on Lower Addiscombe Road. We are now a PCN of 37,000 patients. We are given funding to employ a number of other skills so with that we have employed several pharmacists, social prescribers, physio’s and as of last week a Mental Health worker and care coordinator. In future we aim to employ a dietitian, a well-being coach, there’s a list of support people for general practice. We can book patients straight into these areas instead of seeing GP. If you have back problems you can book into our physio, if you have problems with benefits, negotiating, housing then a social prescriber can see you. Any medication questions can go to a pharmacist and also we have a paramedic who does a lot of home visits for us. Over the next 3 years, the size of that team will grow as each year the budget increases for this. We call these additional roles. As of next April, CCG (Croydon Commissioning Group who run all practices) will cease to exist.


East Croydon Medical Centre has got the biggest anticipated growth which is why we’re given the funding to expand. It’s expected another 10,000 patients in the Croydon Metropolis over the next 5 years and being the location of the Home Office, everyone gets sent here for passports, visa’s, etc. Croydon seems to accept all referrals from other London Boroughs; care homes, refugees and asylum seekers.

  • Covid Vaccinations

ERCHC to be a Covid vaccination site and will be start clinics around the second week of September which will coincide with flu vaccinations. We ran Fairfield Halls Vaccination Site for last 6 months which Huw played a large part in. We are working on the basis of 5 vaccinators and approx. 10mins for each patient so 24 per hour which should space patients out quite nicely to avoid overcrowding. This is all depending on vaccine deliveries. It’s expected to get through 1000 patients per week. We will approach all vulnerable groups first then the age groups but very similar set up as previous. We want to take more control of it this time round and manage our own patients.

A patient queried if we knew who had the vaccine. Dr McCrea explained there was a communication breakdown whereby we wouldn’t know if you had the vaccine booked but we would be notified once you had it. We will send out texts and invites and anticipate a vaccination option on the phone lines. We are going to try and run flu and Covid vaccine together but if clinically vulnerable, you would be pushed up the line. We are told we are only getting Pfizer Vaccine. At some stage we might be getting Maderna but unsure of when.

  • Telephone System

We have tried to make some improvements with our telephone systems and used to use a system called ‘Daisy’ at ECMC and a system called ‘Red Centric’ but being mid-contract we couldn’t get out of but now both have expired we now have a cloud telephony call ‘Xon’ and should be noticing a rapid improvement in call answering. We all see a display on the computer screens on how many patients ring and how many are queued and can transfer calls accordingly and efficiently. If we experience a high volume of calls we can ask other departments to answer to help eliminate the waiting time. Also because it’s cloud based, staff can access the system from their laptop at home to be able to still work as normal if there are childcare issues, etc. We hope this is going to be noticed by patients.

  • Chairperson

This appointed person will tell you what’s happening in the agenda and chair meetings and equally if there are any areas you want to raise and bring to our attention. Patients are happy to rotate this role between them. These meetings will be minuted and published on the website. This will hopefully encourage participation. It’s thought to be a great idea of communication with one another given the changes in the practice and in healthcare in general. Agenda to be sent to Stacey but must mark the email for her attention.

A patient queried how they would stay in contact with each other. Huw will add everyone’s email to the chat. Huw will be the contact point for these meetings.

Dr McCrea explained historically, it would be the participants who traditionally ran these meetings but the agenda was slightly different. It would be the younger patients who were busy during the day and the older patients didn’t want to go out in the evening or those who had work in the evening therefore we didn’t have a mix of generations, etc. We had PPG Meetings in the past and one person did the chair but it was an older generation that would turn up then Covid started and they were afraid to attend but unfortunately, were not computer literate. We had sent texts out to invite all patients.

These meetings will be quarterly. Aim all emails to Huw @ swlccg.ecmcadministration@nhs.net FAO Huw who will formulate an agenda to start off with. Any issues are welcome as well as praise. It is possible the CQC (Care Quality Commissioner) may want to contact participants but warning will be given for that.

A patient asked the opinion of Dr McCrea regarding ‘opting out’. It is felt useful for a hospital to be able to gain important information if you were to be admitted but overall, a mixed feeling regarding other aspects.

Next meeting date:   25th November 2021 @ 3pm.