Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) is encouraging patients and the public to join their local GP practices’ patient participation group by supporting National Patient Participation Awareness Week (1-7 June). Some of the first PPGs in Oxfordshire started in the early 1980’s and have become groups of active volunteer patients who, via regular meetings with practice staff and GPs, provide feedback on the services offered and how improvements can be made for the benefit of all.
Gathering the patients’ perspective of services in this way allows GP practices to keep track of what works at the surgery and what could be improved. It also gives patients a channel through which to pass on comments and suggestions to OCCG about the other health services in their areas.
Eddie Duller OBE, a member of Oxford’s Summertown Group Practice’s PPG, said: “I have been actively involved in my patient group for about a year and the practice has adopted some ideas from the group to give patients a better service and better information, through improving the practice’s website to make it more patient friendly by including more patient information documents online and amending the online patient booking system. In my view there is no doubt that patients can make a difference to how health services are run, and I would encourage anyone to join their PPG by contacting their local practice.”
Professor Louise Wallace, OCCG’s lay member of the Governing Body with responsibility for Public and Patient Involvement, said: “During the last year Oxfordshire CCG has been listening to the views of the public by encouraging patient participation groups to come together in forums to help give a diversity of patients’ perspectives in how health services are experienced and how we as commissioners can improve the services we commission. In addition to this we have also set up an online patient experience form, so if patients want to share their experiences of health services in Oxfordshire with us they can do so at any time. I hope more people will get involved with their patient participation groups, so that patients can really help to shape the future of health services locally”.
If you are interested in having a say in the way your local health services are delivered, getting involved with your practice’s PPG is a great place to start. Not only can joining or starting a group help to shape the delivery of services, many members also find that volunteering is a great way to meet new people and develop new skills, and it is good for health and well-being. To find out more, get in touch with the practice manager at your GP surgery. Alternatively you can register with Talking Health, the online engagement facility on Oxfordshire CCG’s website.
NHS Central Southern Commissioning Support Unit
Jubilee House, 5510 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park South, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2LH
Tel: 01865 334 640
To register at Talking Health, use the following link: