Almost 68,000 patients across Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire can now have a greater say in the running of their GP practices after their surgeries became part of a national body.
Ten practices from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust are now affiliated to the National Association of Patient Participation (NAPP):
- Coalway Road
- Alfred Squire
- Thornley Street
- Penn Manor
- Lea Road
- Dr Bilas
- Dr Fowler
- West Park
NAPP promote Patient Participation Groups (PPG) to aid decision making within the NHS. PPGs can conduct patient surveys, advise the practice and patients of new systems and treatments, share good practice, sit on staff recruitment panels and lobby to improve services.
PPGs also raise awareness of key messages, such as MOT clinics for men and stop smoking campaigns. They can organise presentations, produce directories of support groups, run courses on health topics, and run support services, such as helping out at surgeries and tidying the grounds. NAPP also let PPGs know what funds are available and how to apply for them.
Theresa Phillips, Practice Manager of Coalway Road surgery in Penn and the Alfred Squire practice in Wednesfield, has co-ordinated the collaboration. Theresa became involved in PPGs in 2016 when it became a contractual requirement for all English practices to form one and has since focused on increasing their numbers. Back then only four city practices were part of the Trust and none were affiliated to NAPP, now ten are part of the organisation and all are with NAPP.
Around 5,000 patients are registered at Coalway Road, where the PPG has increased from six members to 88. At Alfred Squire, there are 9,000 patients and the PPG members are 20, up from just three.
“We want to see as many patients involved as possible to show how PPGs are supporting their surgeries,” said Theresa. “Our PPG has been actively involved in the community, collecting food in supermarkets for Christmas hampers for end-of-life patients and answering questions from the public and letting them know we’re part of the Trust.”
PPGs meet every three months and members unable to visit their surgery can engage via virtual meetings on Microsoft Teams and email.