Each GP practice has what is called a Patient Participation Group (PPG), a committee of volunteers and practice members whose responsibility it is to help the staff access the views and ideas of its patients, but does not deal with patient complaints, as these are the remit of the practice manager.
There are five of these groups for the local practices, all of which operate differently and the chairmen and women meet quarterly to discuss the different issues arising in each locality. The overall aim of all PPGs is the promotion of healthy lifestyles and support for their GP practice and as well as meeting regularly, they organise two healthy living events each year on topics such as managing diabetes and understanding different forms of disability and disease. In the case of the Rye Medical Centre, regular online patient surveys are also run.
Members contribute to the planning of the health services by the Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), responsible for local NHS provision. Members attend, for example, events like “Shaping Health and Social Care” and the PPGs have a forum of the 21 chairmen and women facilitated by the CCG
Members of the group also produce useful information for the patients of the practice and this year two of them have developed a range of information and story boards about mental health,(pictured) at present on display at the Rye Medical Centre entrance.
The Rye Medical Centre PPG held its annual general meeting on Wednesday, November 21. The committee is elected each year and members of the public are able to attend. Following the usual agenda structure, this year two speakers were invited, as Rye Medical Centre has found some very imaginative solutions to the lack of doctors wanting to work in general practice.
The meeting heard from the paramedical practitioner, Kate Seaman, who is acting as one of the first points of contact for patients who need appointments very urgently, and from Melanie Jones, the trainee nurse practitioner who will able to prescribe when she has completed her training.
Anyone interested in being part of this group can contact the medical centre for further information, or go to the website.
Image Credits: Gillian Roder.