PPG Awareness week: 31 May – 06 June 2023 – Your Practice Needs You!

Celebrating PPG Awareness Week 

Book your place at the free Webinar “Patient Participation; The Art of the Possible” 6th June at 12-1pm. Free to attend for members of PPGs, members of the public interested in patient participation and people working in or with primary care.

Wondering how to involve patients in primary care in a way that really makes a difference? Thinking of joining a PPG? Want to influence the way that your GP practice works? Why not join our webinar, Patient Participation: The Art of the Possible, on 6th June at 12-1pm? You’ll hear from inspirational speakers on what they’ve managed to achieve through patient participation in primary care and have a chance to reflect on what this might mean for you. After the session you can view all the presentations by signing up to our NHS Futures site here.

The problems facing general practice

It is not new news. We have been battling the pressure facing general practice and the impact this is having on our NHS for the past decade. We have campaigned the government to inject more funds into general practice, yet the profession is still faced with inadequate funding. “The Government will need to ‘pull out all the stops’ to achieve its targets of 6,000 more GPs and 26,000 additional practice staff by 2024.”

Patient engagement as part of the solution

What role do we as patients play in this crisis? We need to use the skills we have as a society to support general practice and improve the services they provide to our communities.

Two years of lock-down and an enduring health pandemic saw that we could rapidly respond, support and uphold our health system in some of the most innovative and inspiring ways.

For example, Red House Surgery Patient Participation Group provided more than 4,000 hours of support, helping vaccinate more than 30,000 patients; Helsby and Elton PPG got involved at their local schools to spread messages about health and wellbeing; and Shopwick PPG, which run established speaker events on topics such as anxiety, depression, back pain, diabetes and nutrition, converted to online events to educate their community on Covid and mental wellbeing. What is more, PPGs around the nation were critical in supporting their practices go virtual and keeping their communities engaged and informed.

Ultimately patient engagement improves awareness and education of health-related issues in the community, alleviates pressure on the system and increases quality of care. This has been proven time and again.

For more than 40 year’s N.A.P.P has facilitated and fostered engagement through Patient Participation Groups, seeing first-hand the collective impact that we can make on local, regional and national decision making. Numerous studies have been carried out, identifying how patient engagement can inform and enhance service delivery and governance. And most recently, the examples of comradeship and endurance that were upheld during the pandemic remind us that we must stay involved if we are to save the system.

Now is the time to act

The NHS is ours, let’s own it. If we don’t act now the burden on general practice could see the ageing workforce increasingly turn to early retirement to avoid burn-out. With no one to replace them, it will leave the NHS without the cornerstone upon which it was built, further reducing accessibility to appointments for hundreds of thousands of patients.

By joining a Patient Participation Group you can do your part to save a general practice that is still accessible to all. You will provide first-hand support by acting as a voice and an educator within your community, you will alleviate pressure on your practice and shape the primary care services that will hopefully serve you and your family for generations to come.

Find out how to get involved in a Patient Participation Group here.

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