GP practices in Kirklees are joining practices throughout the country to promote Patient Participation Awareness Week (10-15 June).
This is a time to highlight the valuable role patients play in supporting their local GP practice through their patient participation group (PPG) and celebrate the work led by local volunteers that’s making a difference in primary care.
Working in partnership with GPs and their practice teams, PPGs act as a ‘critical friend’ to the practice and ensure the patients view is at the heart of local provision so that services are of high quality and can continuously improve. Groups also provide practical support in the surgery, helping to improve communication between the practice and patients, and encourage patients to take more responsibility for their health.
PPGs are made up of registered patients of the practice who have an interest in supporting local healthcare to improve for both patients and the practice. Each is unique, responding to local need. Some hold meetings for their members, while others run on a more “virtual” basis. All are volunteers.
The PPGs are involved and support their practices in a number of ways across Kirklees. At Calder View Surgery, members run regular walking and art groups. Parkview Surgery PPG hold monthly carers meetings with Carers Count. North Road Suite PPG has held internet training sessions to help patients access online services.
Members of Oaklands Health Centre PPG hold a dementia café every month for patients and carers. The PPG at Elmwood Family Doctors selected some of the decoration, music and information for display in waiting rooms during its refurbishment. At The Waterloo Practice, PPG members have demonstrated health apps and an A-Z of useful patient information is on display in the waiting room.
Tony Clifton, Chair of the patient participation group at Oaklands Health Centre, Holmfirth said: “We support the practice in any way we can to help improve patient experience. Being part of a PPG you get to see and hear the challenges of the practice and find out what’s new, as well as listening to the ideas of other patients. It’s a good feeling when you see the impact our involvement is having on the practice and the patients.”
Clare Townend, Practice Manager at Calder View Surgery, Dewsbury said: “Our PPG is an integral part of our team, they make a huge difference to our practice, not only for patients but our practice staff too. They feedback concerns, challenge us when necessary and help us to communicate with our patients. I’d like to thank every member of the PPG who give their time to run activities, produce information and take time to tell us what’s working and how we can improve.”
Patients interested in joining their local PPG should speak to their practice manager.