The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland CCGs have paid tribute to the Chair of the Patient Participation Group (PPG) at Charnwood Community Medical Group in Loughborough, for being recognised in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours List.
Mick Gregory, PPG member since 2011 following 40 years working for the Ambulance Service, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to health and to the community in the East Midlands.
He joins dozens of NHS staff, including GPs, nurses and midwives, who have also been honoured in the landmark awards, celebrating 70 years of the Queen’s service.
Mick’s involvement with the NHS began in 1971 when he joined the Leicestershire Ambulance Service, where he was one of the first paramedics in the organisation, before eventually becoming Head of Clinical Services for the East Midlands Ambulance Service.
In 2011, shortly before he retired, Mick joined the PPG at Charnwood Community Medical Group, his local GP practice in Loughborough, where he has been Chair since 2018. During the covid pandemic, he also volunteered as a marshall at the Charnwood vaccination centre and helped to recruit other volunteers.
Mick said: “I’m absolutely delighted and so proud to receive this award. I’ve got a lot of time for the NHS and I try and support it in any way I can. I always wanted to work for the Ambulance Service, my father and grandfather had both worked there, and my daughter and son followed suit as they both work for branches of the Ambulance Service too.
“I always say that you can take the man out of the NHS but you can’t take the NHS out of the man! I’m always happy to help out, even since my retirement and I get so much satisfaction from trying to make improvements for patients.”
Sue Venables, Head of Patient Engagement for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Over the years I have known Mick, I have always been struck by his sheer dedication, which is why this accolade is so deserving. He gives so much of his time to support his GP practice and local community. Through his work as a PPG member, so many people have benefited from his commitment to improving services, which ultimately help to improve the health and wellbeing of people in West Leicestershire.”
Mick played a key role in enhancing clinical skills within the Ambulance Service, where his achievements included setting up the ambulance paramedic training programme across Leicestershire and then supporting universities as they developed their own undergraduate training for paramedics. Following his retirement from his full-time role he worked part time for EMAS as a blue light driver trainer, before finally retiring completely from the Service in 2013.
Richard Henderson, Chief Executive at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “Mick devoted his extensive career in the ambulance service to helping others. Over the many years he had such a positive impact on so many patients while also developing the skills of colleagues in the former Leicestershire Ambulance Service and more recently East Midlands Ambulance Service until his retirement in 2007. We are all delighted that Mick has been recognised for his significant contribution.”
Since joining the PPG at Charnwood Community Medical Group Mick has been involved in a series of specific projects including an initiative to reduce wastage of prescription medication, a focus on encouraging carers to make themselves known to the practice so that they can be better supported, and a survey of patients with long-term health conditions to help improve the information and advice they receive on managing their condition. This initiative won an award from the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) in conjunction with the National Institute for Health Research.
Dr Geoff Hanlon, GP and Senior Partner at Charnwood Community Medical Group, said: “I would like to congratulate Mick on this very well-deserved award on behalf of the whole Practice team. Having patients acting as a critical friend to the Practice is key to the way that we monitor and improve our services and Mick's leadership of the Patient Participation Group plays a vital role in that. We feel lucky to have such a close and productive working relationship with Mick and the Group.”