Patient power in Crosby makes a change for the better. Health commissioners in south Sefton are encouraging residents to get involved in their local NHS by joining their GPs practice’s patient group this national participation week (10 – 15 June).
NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is raising awareness of the role of patient participation groups, which every GP practice in England is required to have. Groups can provide practical support in the surgery, foster improved communication between the practice and its patients and help people to take more responsibility for their health.
Blundellsands Surgery in Crosby has an active patient group, which has made a huge difference to the practice following a discussion at one of its meetings about disabled access. After the issue was raised, the GP practice was successful in applying for funding from NHS England to make the building more accessible for those with disabilities.
Denise Christina Cook, who is a representative on the group, explained: “We managed to get funding for disabled access to the building through our patient participation group which was a great outcome for our patients. We were able to get a new ramp and increase the size of the reception area which has made it a lot of difference to people accessing the building.”
Denise is also encouraging other people to join their practice’s group: “I’ve been a patient here for over 40 years now and I’ve been involved in our patient group for a long time. We are always looking for new members. You get to know what’s going on and have your say on new ideas for the practice. If you are interested just speak to your receptionist at your GP practice. I would encourage people to join because how else can you help shape services in the future?”
NHS South Sefton CCG works with Healthwatch Sefton to regularly encourage more people to join their practice’s patient group.
Wendy Andersen, Engagement Manager for Healthwatch Sefton, says: “Our Community Champion network members have been telling us of the difficulties of being able to join a GP practice PPG and we are now glad to be working in partnership with the CCGs to support in the development of PPGs throughout Sefton.”
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We are really keen to grow our patient groups in south Sefton. They are a way to share your views on the future of GP practices and have your say so please do speak to your practice if you are interested.”
To find out more you can visit: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/patient-participation-groups or you can speak to your own GP practice if you are interested in joining. You can also watch a video of Denise talking about her PPG here: http://bit.ly/2K31Jnw
The week is organised by the National Association for Patient Participation, (N.A.P.P) a national charity, formed in 1978. Uniquely placed as the only umbrella body for patient-led groups in primary care, N.A.P.P has over 40 years’ experience in promoting, supporting and developing Patient Participation Groups (PPGs). There are now over 1500 groups affiliated to N.A.P.P, representing at least ten million patients across the UK.
Photo caption: Denise Christina Cook, a patient group representative at Blundellsands surgery in Crosby, is encouraging people to join their practice groups