Beechfield PPG

Beechfield Medical Centre (Spalding, Lincolnshire)
Patient Participation Group Newsletter

Number 2
November 2017


Welcome to the Beechfield PPG's second Newsletter. Our aim is to keep you informed with snippets of information and updates on the Surgery's and our own activities. The PPG's main objectives are published on our web site at, do please have a look - we'd welcome any suggestions for improvement or updates.

Have your say on GP services - Do the Survey...

Have your Say cartoon Healthwatch Lincolnshire is looking for help from patients in South Holland to build a picture of GP services in the county.

Imelda Redmond national director of Healthwatch England, said “Up and down the country it is clear that people value their local doctor’s surgeries and can see the pressures they are under. It is also clear that they want to do their bit to help by sharing their experiences. Healthwatch is here to help busy surgeries not only improve how they seek feedback, but also help GPs and practice managers explain how this insight is being used to give people the care they want."

And from Jayne Thomas (Healthwatch Lincolnshire) - "We want to hear from as many people as possible. If you can help spread the word about the survey amongst family and friends please, we would be most grateful or complete the survey yourself". Here is the Survey, closing date November 10th.

Update from the CCG Annual Public Meeting

(September 28th)
Current Issues / forward look

  • Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan – new model with emphasis on local community and home based care.
  • More support for self-help, information and advice
  • More integrated services
  • Bedrock of General Practice- GP Give five year forward view
  • Development of neighbourhood teams- Stamford, Spalding and other areas
  • Development of the two GP Federations- Allied Health South Lincolnshire and Lakeside Healthcare
  • Positive future for Stamford and Johnson Hospitals
  • Daily focus on working with GP practices, Trusts, Local Authority, Patient Groups.

Ruth's Literary recommendations

"As an avid reader and member of a book group I read a wide selection of books so each month I will bring a title that I have enjoyed or that has stayed with me long after I have finished the book."

Marian KeyesThe Author Marian Keyes

After last months serious review let me introduce you to a most engaging Irish author Marian Keyes, she has written several books dealing with many of the problems which we face today which she herself has suffered so is able to be objective and let us know that much can be achieved in life despite setbacks.

All is delivered with a large slice of the noted Irish humour and the love and support of family. See the Marian Keyes Web Site

The Monthly Vape

Vaping devices, a selection of tube and box mods and tanksVaping as a means to stop smoking is now fully endorsed by many official bodies in the UK, although there are still some negative headlines out there. The main reason for this is of course that bad news (even if it's not true) sells more papers than good news. It's also true to say that the suppliers of traditional methods of quitting such as patches, gum, sprays and inhalers are seeing a significant loss of revenue, and unsurprisingly are often behind negative reports. Frightening headlines are regularly presented as fact by lazy jounalists, when in many cases they are opinions with no scientific basis. If in doubt, follow the money!

So let's dispel a few widely quoted myths.

Myth No. 1 - Children vaping is on the rise and is a gateway to smoking.
There is no credible evidence to support this claim; while teenage vaping is indeed rising, teenage smoking rates are falling which suggests that vaping is a gateway away from smoking. Only a very small percentage (less than 1%) of young people have taken up vaping without being smokers first and in many cases they are using juice with no nicotine! And, by the way, nicotine should not be confused with tobacco - many negative reports (most notably from the USA) conflate nicotine with tobacco, so headlines such as 'Teenage tobacco use is rising' are highly misleading. Follow the money...

Myth No.2 - Vaping is as bad or worse for you than smoking.
Again, again this is a widely publicised headline which has no basis in fact. One particular set of tests grossly overheated the devices which would cause the liquid to decompose and the internal wick to burn, producing some quite nasty stuff to be released. The taste of this is intolerable to any vaper (it's called a dry puff) but in spite of this, the headlines received wide coverage in the media.

Myth No. 3 - Nicotine is carcinogenic and highly addictive.
No it isn't. In fact there is some evidence to suggest that there are cognitive benefits and that it also helps in offsetting the onset of some types of dementia. Cigarettes are also deliberately laced with ammonia and other additives increasing the 'hit' and reward factor. Many ex-smokers turned vapers will confirm that cravings are significantly reduced and current thinking is that - when separated from a cigarette - nicotine is no more addictive that caffeine.

So if you're thinking of trying vaping, don't be put off by the barrage of ill founded press headlines. Vaping is estimated by Public Health England to be at least 95% safer than smoking (See this Video too) - and your wallet will notice the difference too. In the meantime, here's more Mythbusting from the UEA.

If you or someone you know would like to consider Vaping then please feel free to call Tony Wright on 01775 714303 for unbiased and helpful advice. We're giving a lot of space to vaping to both counteract the predominantly negative press, and also to support many authorities' views that stopping smoking by way of vaping is potentially a game changer for public health.

Disclaimer: Tony does not speak on behalf of the NHS and has no commercial interests in Vaping!

That's it

That's it for this month, we hope you found something useful and/or interesting here. If you think you can do better, or would like to contribute, you don't have to be in the PPG - please feel free to contact us via our web site.

This Newsletter is also available online at