Event celebrates the work of patient participation group volunteers across Bradford City and Districts

Over 100 volunteer members of patient participation groups across Bradford City and Districts attended a celebration at Kala Sangam last week to mark the contribution they make to improve health and care provided at GP surgeries.

The event, hosted by NHS Bradford City and Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), recognised the valuable input of patient participation groups across the 65 surgeries in the area.

Each GP surgery has a patient participation group and representatives from each group take part in the Bradford-wide Patient and Community Network. The network meets regularly to look at how the views and opinions of all Bradford’s communities can be reflected in the care provided and to share new ideas.

Volunteers met last week to share and discuss good practice on a range of topics including; encouraging self-care, working with local schools, supporting young carers, understanding and sharing patient experience, the creation of Practice Health Champions schemes and how to recruit new volunteers.

Successes at each group were celebrated and a competition was held to judge the best patient participation group notice board generated some fierce competition. Avicenna Medical Practice’s group took the top prize, followed by Kensington Partnership in second place and Grange Medical Centre in third.

David Richardson, lay member for Bradford Districts CCG said: “The celebration was very well attended by patient group members from across Bradford and their enthusiasm and ideas on how to develop the work of patient groups across the district shows terrific commitment to improving healthcare for everyone.”

The CCGs use the valuable information collected by patient volunteers as a key part of their engagement work. Feedback from patient participation groups is collected alongside the Grass Roots feedback scheme and is used to inform commissioning decisions about both current and future services.

Details of patient participation groups are available at each GP surgery or on surgery websites. There is no minimum time commitment required to take part and you don’t need any qualifications to join a group, just a desire to help and support your local community, a commitment to ensuring patient voices are shared and a wish to share your thoughts and ideas on improving services at your GP surgery.

More information on how to get involved in the Patient and Community Network is available on the CCGs’ website: http://www.bradfordcityccg.nhs.uk/get-involved-/how-to-get-involved/patient-and-community-network-/