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Make a difference to healthcare in your community and support your GP practice

Local residents are being encouraged to play a part in shaping healthcare provided at their GP practice by joining their local patient participation group (PPG).

GPs from NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are using PPG Awareness Week (1-6 June 2015) to highlight the importance of the patient voice and ask more people to volunteer.

PPGs are made up of interested patients, together with a GP and the practice manager. Most GP practices in Southwark have a group and it is a chance to work with your local surgery to tackle issues that affect you and your local community.

Think about the last appointment you had with a GP or nurse at your local surgery. Or maybe when you last had to organise a repeat prescription or attend a clinic?

Did you ever think about what the experience was like for you? Could it have been made easier, or was there something that worked well that is worth sharing? You can have your say and make a difference by joining the group at your practice.

Groups meet regularly to discuss healthcare and share ideas on how to make improvements. It is also an opportunity for the practice to give an update on their activity and discuss any plans they have.

Dr Jacques Mizan, local GP and clinical lead for engagement at NHS Southwark CCG, said: “Attending your local patient participation group means you can work with your doctor and practice manager to deal with health issues that affect you and other local people.

“The groups can help improve communication between the practice and its patients and help patients to take more responsibility for their health. The views and feedback of our patients are vital for influencing and shaping our work and making sure local people get the health services they need.

“We know many people who join a group find it extremely rewarding to be part of developing health services and I’d encourage all Southwark patients to get involved.”

PPG members also play a fundamental role in the CCG’s work to involve patients in decisions about health services across Southwark. PPG members can attend the CCG’s north and south locality PPG meetings. This is where wider healthcare services are discussed such as communication between hospitals and doctors, improving Southwark GP and pharmacy services, and developing healthcare across south east London.

Locality PPGs elect patient representatives to sit on the CCG’s engagement committee which is chaired by a member of the governing body, meaning patients are at the heart of the CCG's work to develop the best possible services.

Find out more about involving patients and the public in developing health services in Southwark. You can also attend a free event on 1 June 2015 to learn about how PPGs can improve quality for patients.

Organised by the National Association for Patient Participation N.A.P.P, PPG Awareness Week aims to highlight the importance of patient involvement in achieving excellent care for all patients. ​