Have Your Say and Make A Difference to Health Services

    Patients in Milton Keynes 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.

    NHS Milton Keynes 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 on 19 – 24 June. Patient Participation Week aims to highlight the importance of patient participation in achieving excellence in care for all patients. The week is organised by the National Association for Patient Participation, (N.A.P.P).

    PPGs help GP surgeries to discover what a range of patients think about services, to establish their priorities and to test and modify plans GPs may have. A PPG also helps to identify where improvements can be made for patients. Anyone wishing to become a member of their PPG should talk to their local practice manager.

    Dr Nicola Smith, Local GP and Chair of NHS Milton Keynes 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.”

    Dr Phil Hammond, GP turned hospital doctor, journalist and broadcaster supporting Patient Participation Awareness Week said: “Patients and carers are the smoke alarms for the frontline of the NHS. They are often first to spot poor care and also have great ideas about how to make care better. They need to be involved in decisions not just about their care, but in designing better care for others. Patient Participation Groups are a crucial way of harnessing the voice of the patient in primary care, and have much to contribute in driving up quality”

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

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