Have a greater say on local health services

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Patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham are being encouraged to have a greater say in how local health services are being run by joining a Patient Participation Group (PPG) at their local GP practice. PPGs are groups of active volunteer patients working in partnership with practice staff and GPs.

NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and members of PPG groups are calling on more patients to become involved during Patient Participation Week, which is being held between 10-15 June 2019.The week is organised by the National Association for Patient Participation, (N.A.P.P).

PPGs play a key role in helping GP surgeries to identify where improvements can be made for patients. Anyone can get involved in their practice PPG; there are no formal skills or qualifications needed. You just need to be willing to volunteer your time to make a positive difference to your practice for people who use its services.

‘Virtual PPGs’ now also exist operating alongside ‘real’ groups enabling a dialogue with the whole patient population through email, online surveys and social media.
Contact your GP Reception or Practice Manager for more information about your practice PPG.

Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“Patients are in the unique position of being the only people who know what it is like to be on the receiving end of services, which means that they can provide us with vital information on what works well and how services can improve. PPGs also play a pivotal role in helping to improve communication, encouraging patients to take more responsibility for their health and providing practical support for others in the community.”

“We know there are many more people out there with valuable insights they can share with us to help us improve local healthcare still further. If you would like to get more involved in local health services the best way to start would be to contact your local practice and ask to join the PPG.”

For more information on PPG Awareness Week visit www.napp.org.uk/ppgawarenessweek.html