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Have your voice heard by joining an NHS patient group

Sefton residents interested in getting involved in how local health services are delivered are invited to two public events next month.

 The special events, organised by the two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton and  Healthwatch Sefton, are open to anyone wanting the chance to support their local NHS to improve and develop services by joining their local Patient Participation Group (PPG).

 Helen Graham is chair of a local PPG group and says: “I joined our PPG group over four years ago and now chair the meetings. For me, it’s important that we think about all patients at the surgery rather than just those present at the meetings so we’ll think about all age groups and different health needs to help the practice support its patients.

“The meetings are a chance to get involved in changes and have your say, for example our practice has recently developed a new website, which we were all able to feed into and make suggestions on that were then taken forward.

 As a result of discussions in the group, the practice also set up social media accounts and we’ve recently had a new PPG member join as a result of seeing our Facebook page. It is so worthwhile being a part of your PPG and making changes for the better in your local practice.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “PPGs support GP practices and are a way for you as a patient to have a voice about services at your surgery, as well as the wider health sector in your area.” 

Dr Craig Gillespie, GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “By coming along to these special events, you will gain a better understanding of what PPGs do and how you can become a part of the one at your GP practice.” 

Diane Blair, manager of Healthwatch Sefton, added: “As a local Healthwatch, we recognise the importance of the patient voice being heard when local health services are being delivered or developed. That is why we want as many people as possible to come along to the events to hear first hand the difference being a member of a PPG can make.”

At the events there will be a marketplace of health and wellbeing stalls at both events giving people the chance to chat with health professionals as well as representatives from the CCGs and Healthwatch. People can hear from current PPG groups and how they engage with their patients.

A light lunch will be served during each event, the first of which is on Tuesday, November 12 at SING Centre, Cambridge Road, Seaforth, L21 1EZ and the second is at Lord Street West United Church, off Lord Street, Southport, PR8 2BH on Tuesday, November 19. 

Both events run from 10am until 2pm.

To book on for the south Sefton event on November 12, please register by calling: 0151 317 8456 or emailing: southsefton.ccg@nhs.net

For the Southport event on November 19, please register by calling 01704 395785 or emailing: southportandormby.ccg@nhs.net