Patient groups meet up for annual get-together

Patient groups meet up for annual get-together

SSP Health hosted its second annual meeting for representatives of its Wigan and Leigh Patient Participation Groups.

Several PPGs were represented at the meeting in SSP’s head office at Ashton-in-Makerfield, including Marsh Green Medical Practice, Beefold Medical Centre, Nelson Street Surgery, Leigh Sports Village Practice, Astley General Practice, Braithwaite Road Surgery, Ashton Medical Centre, Higher Ince Surgery and Leigh Family Practice. The event was also attended by Practice Managers and head office staff.

SSP Director and GP, Dr Shikha Pitalia, introduced the meeting by giving an overview of the changes within the practices in Wigan and Leigh over the past 12 months and highlighted the rapid and significant developments that have taken place. She thanked the PPGs for working with practices in further improving healthcare and services for patients.

Dr Pitalia also congratulated staff in practices which had received good inspections by the Care Quality Commission, including Nelson Street, Poplar Street, Claire House and Rivington Way surgeries which were also rated as ‘Outstanding’ for their care for vulnerable patients.

Speakers at the meeting included Emma Oughton and Janet Eastwood, of the National Institute for Health Research, who explained the role of the organisation and how it helps both patients and clinical staff by alerting them to, and giving them access to, new treatments.

SSP Health is joining the NIHR’s regional network, and its practices will take part in the organisations clinicals studies, pass on information about the health of their patient populations and accept training for clinical staff.

Professor Graham Wardle, Chair of SSP’s Braithwaite Road Surgery PPG and Chair of the Ashton Cluster of PPGs, gave a detailed analysis of his PPG’s listening project, where he and other PPG volunteers took time out to listen to the views of patients. Around 80 patients were interviewed anonymously and their views on the practice were fed back to surgery staff.

Prof Wardle said the pilot project was a success and hoped other PPGs would take up the project in their own practices.

Also speaking at the event were Theresa O’Leiski and Karen Wilson, of Wigan and Leigh Healthwatch, which has recently relaunched in the borough.

They outlined how Healthwatch wanted to engage with the public through primary care services, including GP practices, and how PPGs and SSP surgeries could help to voice the views of the public about healthcare locally, which would then then be fed through to decision makers.

Patient Participation Groups are an integral part of the functioning of SSP Health’s practices and their members make a very valuable contribution to helping to further improve care for patients.

If you would like to join your local PPG, please ask at reception.