Dolphins PPG Haywards Heath – how we supported the vaccination role out in our community
The past year certainly gave us all challenges; the first one was learning to use Zoom to keep in touch, have committee meetings, etc! Along with all other leaflets and items in our Practice’s Reception area, the PPG table had to be cleared, but we were given a new, glass fronted display board, and allowed access to keep news coming for those patients visiting the Practice – mostly information on the many on-line activities springing up, such as talks, health advice, and help with IT access.
From time to time the Practice asked the PPG to review their communications to patients, to check the patient view.
Then on 23rd December came our big moment, when our Practice Manager asked us to organise the volunteers (from the 6 practices in our 70,000 patient Locality Group) who would help at the large vaccination centre being set up in our town.
Well, we knew by then we couldn’t visit family, so an interesting Christmas followed, as we were sent name after name of volunteers. The programme had to start on 29th December, so we had to quickly collate information, make contacts, and set up rotas, which we did for a couple of weeks. We were glad to then hand over to a website being opened up for volunteers, as so many people were offering to help.
Several of our PPG committee were in that first intake, and have continued to take part each week ever since. With our local knowledge and contacts we helped the Practice by resolving problems at the hall being used. It’s been a classic community effort, in which a PPG has played a critical role.