Updated: Jun 10
Watling medical Centre (WMC) has for many years had an active Patient Participation Group (PPG).
The PPG has three main purposes:
· To be a two-way communication forum between patients and practice staff
· To assist the practice as appropriate using the experience and knowledge of the PPG members
· And ultimately to hold the practice to account if the PPG believes this is necessary
The first is by far the most important, and for that to be effective we would like as many patients as possible to become active in the PPG. We want to make sure the PPG represents all patients, from both surgeries, so patients who use the Burnt Oak surgery will be especially welcome.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – one of the NHS bodies that oversees GPs – recognises the value of there being an effective PPG and looks for evidence there is one during its inspections.
This is a time of change and challenge in the NHS – and not just because of COVID. A recent example is the creation of Primary Care Networks (PCNs). These are groups of three or four general practices which together can employ specialist such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and pharmacists so that patients can have direct access to these services. By being a member of the PPG you will hear about what is planned, and have a chance to have your voice heard.
The PPG has a committee which meet four or five times a year – at the moment virtually but we hope that – as soon as it is safe – we can go back to face-to-face meetings. At every meeting we have an update on what is happening at WMC from one of the GPs – usually Milen Shah, and the Practice Manager, Sanya Todorovic. Recently we have also had presentations from other people such as the Clinical Director of ‘our’ PCN, Barnet health Champions and some of the specialists who have joined the PCN.
Meetings are usually held in the evenings, and last about two hours, but this is not set in stone.
I have just stepped down as the PPG Chair – my wife and I are moving to be nearer to our children. In all my time in the PPG I have been impressed by WMC’s performance, and the willingness of the practice to listen to our views. I have also been amazed by WMC’s commitment to continue to provide a service during the pandemic. It has been magnificent.
My place as Chair is being taken by Michael Grossman. Some of you may have come across Michael as he has managed several of the local pharmacies, and he certainly knows more about how the NHS works than I do.
If you want to get involved just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the PPG does not take up individual complaints, and cannot respond to queries about your appointments, prescriptions etc.
Ben Harding Michael Grossman