Patient volunteers recognised for their hard work and dedication

Patient volunteers from across the Fylde Coast have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication at the third annual Patient Participation Group (PPG) Awards. The awards were organised by the NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

PPGs are a forum for patients to communicate with their GP practice and put forward their views and suggestions. They meet regularly to discuss ways of making a positive contribution to GP services and facilities.

The awards were launched to celebrate the work of PPGs at the 37 practices across Fylde Coast, improving the link between local GP services and their patients.

NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre CCGs Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, said: “We are very fortunate to have a strong network of dedicated volunteers on the Fylde Coast who are committed to working with their local GP practices to improve services and facilities for the Fylde Coast population.

“We appreciate the continued efforts of all of the volunteers and thank them for their contributions.”

PPG of the Year was won by Holland House, a Lytham practice which organised an art competition for patients, inviting school children and older people to draw and paint together. The pictures were also turned into a calendar, the proceeds of which will go to Trinity Hospice, the amount raised was in excess of £1,400.

Special awards were given to Gordon Halliwell, who spent many of his retired years lobbying his GP practice before sadly passing away, and Ian Gibson who has championed the cause of patients from Over Wyre for many years.

The Most Engaged PPG was won by the Thornton Practice for its solid commitment and work supporting its PPG in all areas. Amy Sissons as its dedicated practice manager has joined with its PPG to drive a programme that is enviable throughout the whole country.

The PPG Volunteer of the Year was scooped by Helen Roberts, from Over Wyre Medical Centre. Helen has attended every PPG meeting, since she joined over seven years ago. During her time in the PPG she has worked to increase use of online GP services from 17 per cent to 30 per cent.

Project of the Year, a new award to recognise PPG or resident-led community initiatives, was won by the Blackpool Citizens Inquiry health and wellbeing project. The project gave residents a chance to share their opinions and experiences and put forward recommendations of how to improve wellbeing in their community.

The PPG at Adelaide Street in Blackpool won ‘Most Improved PPG’, due to their growing ‘virtual’ membership. Part of this PPG is run over a closed Facebook group. It involves clinicians, young people and many others by running a live commentary throughout meetings to involve those who can’t attend meetings at the practice.

The awards were held as part of a wider PPG Conference at Ribby Hall, Wrea Green. This annual event brings PPG volunteers, practice staff and GPs together to share their experiences and help improve the relationship between practices and patients and make a real difference to local healthcare.