West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting National Patient Participation Week, which will run from June 19 - 25 2017. This week celebrates the work that patients do in partnership with the NHS to improve it for everyone.
All GP practices in West Leicestershire have a PPG (Patient Participation Group), a body of volunteers who meet regularly to represent patients’ views and work with the practice partners and staff to help improve the service, foster improved communication between the practice and its patients and help patients to take more responsibility for their own health.
Patient Participation Week highlights how importance it is for patients to be involved to ensure that the NHS delivers good care. It is easy to participate and work with your practice or CCG and makes a huge difference locally.
Gillian Adams, PPG Member and Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement at West Leicestershire CCG said “The CCG believes that if we listen to and deeply understand people’s experiences of health and care, we will design better more person-centred services that meet the needs of patients. The contribution that volunteers make to the health and wellbeing of their local population is huge, whether it is sharing their experiences, promoting the uptake of flu jabs, running health walks or working with their local surgery to stage health related support events.
“I urge anyone who has the time to get involved to ask at their local surgery about joining the PPG so that we hear what really matters to people and understand what would make the biggest difference to a great experience of care.”
West Leicestershire PPGs meet bi-monthly as part of the West Leicestershire CCG PPG Network. These network meetings are open to all members of a PPG and offer a chance to get real insight into the work the CCG does, hearing presentations and taking part in workshops delivered by senior CCG staff and clinicians, as well as other health and social care organisations.
Topics covered at the Network recently include how we spend public money and make the difficult decisions about who and how care is provided locally. We also covered the work undertaken in adult social care and by the provider of NHS 111 and urgent care services including Loughborough Urgent Care Centre. The network offers a chance for attendees to gain real insight into how health and social care operates in their local area, as well as input into how services are designed and really make a difference. Through these events, PPG members have worked with the CCG to ensure that recent changes to the policies around the prescribing of paracetamol and gluten free foods were supported by patients.
PPGs also get directly involved in supporting their communities and improving their health and wellbeing. This includes the support of key health campaigns, for example running events and awareness campaigns to promote the benefits of getting the flu jab. PPGs from surgeries across Hinckley and Bosworth came together to work to support their area to reduce the amount of medicine that is wasted through people being prescribed more than they need, and have been closely involved in the work being done to improve community services in the area.
Our local PPGs have also been instrumental in organising and supporting regular health walks to help people in their local area stay fit and healthy. Some walks, such as one which is run from Forest House Surgery in Shepshed regularly get upwards of 50 walkers per week, contributing to the health and wellbeing of the community.
People wanting to join their local GP surgery’s PPG should ask at the surgery reception for more details.
For more information on the PPG Network visit our website at: http://www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/PPGNetwork