Awareness week to showcase volunteers' role to improve Sid Valley healthcare

PUBLISHED: 07:01 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:11 04 June 2019

Members of The Patient Participation Group outside Beacon Medical Centre. Ref shs 21 19TI 5326. Picture: Terry Ife

Members of The Patient Participation Group outside Beacon Medical Centre. Ref shs 21 19TI 5326. Picture: Terry Ife

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An awareness week promoting the work of patient care is set to highlight the behind-the-scenes work of the town's busy medical centre.

Members of The Patient Participation Group outside Beacon Medical Centre. Ref shs 21 19TI 5325. Picture: Terry IfeMembers of The Patient Participation Group outside Beacon Medical Centre. Ref shs 21 19TI 5325. Picture: Terry Ife

The Sid Valley Patients Participation Group (PPG) has shared how its volunteers work behind the scenes representing the views of users of the Sid Valley Medical Practice (SVP).

The PPG is made up of patients who volunteer their time to act as a 'critical friend' and bridge between the surgery and its 14,567 registered patients.

From Monday (June 10) the group will be joining in PPG awareness week to showcase its role and will be available at the Beacon Medical Centre to speak to patients and get their feedback.

In an average week, the SVP offers 2,433 doctors' appointments, 1,004 nurses' appointments, 276 special clinic appointments and issues more than 3,000 prescriptions.

Among the practices challenges is a higher percentage of older people, with nearly half of the practice's patients over the age of 60 and 15 per cent over 80. Surgery staff also see 105 missed appointments a week.

Chris Gill, from the PPG, said: "Both are a higher percentage than the national average and brings a particular set of challenges in the treatment of patients. During the 10 hours the surgery is open each week day the telephone rings every few seconds. These calls cover the full range of patient needs requiring the front line members of staff to develop an extensive knowledge of the practice and the wide range of activities, processes and procedures involved.

"Whilst managing this hive of activity and caring for the medical needs at every patient contact the surgery strives to understand how it interacts with its patients on the wider perspectives of surgery activities. This is where the Patient Participation Group (PPG) plays it part."

The group provides feedback and concerns and challenge the practice when necessary. The PPG also represent the patients on local health and care forums.

Volunteers also look to promote good health and self-care, preventative medicine and a strong, supportive mutual relationship

Currently the PPG is recruiting new members. To find out more visit www.sidvalleypractice.nhs.uk and follow the Patients Participation Group for instructions.

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