Appeal to local patients to have their say on the future of local NHS services

PATIENTS and members of the public across Telford and Wrekin are being urged to get involved with their local NHS and make sure their voice is heard when the future of healthcare services in the area is discussed.

Patient Participation Group (PPG) Awareness Week – which takes place between 1-8 June - aims to promote the role and benefits of PPGs to patients, the public and health professionals, to create more understanding of the value of true patient participation and also to promote the support available from National Association of Patient Participation (NAPP).

Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation responsible for buying healthcare services for the area, is appealing to people to join their local PPG by contacting their GP practices.

Currently groups exist in 10 out of 22 practices across the region (Ironbridge, Stirchley, Wellington, Newport, Sutton Hill and Shawbirch), but every practice in the area is committed to developing the role of the PPG in some way.

Stirchley Chair, and Chair of the CCG, Dr Michael Innes, said: “The first PPGs were established around 1972 by GPs in England and Wales.

“Since then there has been a significant growth in the number of PPGs within local communities," he said. " More importantly, experience shows that successful practices and effective PPGs go hand in hand.

“For people who have limited free time, there are virtual PPGs where you can input online and still ensure your voice is being heard.”

“I would urge anyone with an interest in healthcare to call their GP and find out what sort of PPG is available locally and how you can get involved. And if there isn’t any thing available, maybe you can be the impetus needed to set something up.”

Patient participation is a unique partnership between patients, GPs and their practice which is essential to and results in high quality and responsive care.