“I first found out about my PPG while I was sitting waiting for my doctor’s appointment. Hunting around for something to read, I came upon our Practice newsletter, which had an article about our PPG on the back.
I’d never heard of a PPG so was pleasantly surprised to find such a group even existed. My first thought was ‘What a great idea.’ I loved the fact that patients can get together with their practice to improve the service they get. I actually think our practice does a fab job so what interested me was playing my part to learn more about my practice and offer support where I could.
I’m a believer in doing your bit in life. I’ve always been a hugely passionate supporter of the NHS. Doctors and nurses work their socks off for us so this was something that I thought I could do to help in some small way. I feel it is very easy for people to sit back and complain about things. The PPG seemed to offer an opportunity for patients to get involved and do something positive and constructive for their practice. That has to be a huge incentive for people to join the group. So I emailed Denys, the PPG chair, and found out about the date of the next meeting.
As a group, we consist mainly of older people who, like myself, have more time than most to ‘do our bit for our community’. That said, I do strongly believe that our group would benefit from younger members who could bring a whole new perspective on the practice’s service. For example busy professionals and mums with young kids could provide valuable feedback on the kinds of changes they would like to see.
To try and address this, Denys has led the way to raise awareness of the fact we exist as a group. He’s often out and about talking to patients himself but also gently encourages us all to do what we can to spread the word. One of the best ways to do this is simply to be in the practice waiting room talking to patients. We do this either by going in to the practice a few minutes early if we have a doctor’s appointment or as a group, doing a couple of hours each in the practice handing out leaflets. We’ve even chatted to people and handed out leaflets at our local library.
As well as letting people know about us, we also play our part in helping our practice. For example, most recently we have been encouraging people to use the practice’s online booking system. This makes a big difference to the way the practice runs as it helps free up phone lines for those who are unable to access online booking.
I really enjoy my role within my PPG and am very committed to it as I believe I am making a difference. I love the idea that I am involved in helping to improve the care for others. I also love the idea that I am doing something positive to support the practice and community.”
Shelley Jennings, member of Cross Keys Surgery PPG, Princes Risborough