Patients across Fylde and Wyre are being encouraged to have more of a say in how their GP practice operates by joining a patient participation group (PPG).

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group is urging people to mark National Patient Participation Week, which runs from 6-11 June, by finding out more about how they can get involved at their doctors’ surgery and make positive changes.

Every practice in Fylde and Wyre has a PPG which is made up of people who have an interest in how the practice is run and want to make sure patient views are taken into account.

Kevin TooleNHS Fylde and Wyre CCG’s lay member for engagement, Kevin Toole, said: “Patient engagement is a priority area for us and is firmly on our agenda. We recently held a PPG conference which brought members from across Fylde and Wyre together to share their best ways of working.

“Getting patients involved, and learning from their experiences, can really help to improve the quality of healthcare services.”

In the past year the PPG Holland House Surgery in Lytham has organised two very successful dementia sing-a-longs, while PPG members at Over Wyre Medical Centre in Preesall were instrumental in helping their practice to implement a new appointment system.

Poulton’s Queensway Medical Centre PPG supported its practice over the course of two weekends to promote the patient survey during the flu clinics, while members of The Thornton Practice PPG have been helping their practice to address the issue of people failing to attend their appointments.

Mr Toole added: “The work the PPGs do is invaluable. GPs, receptionists and other practice staff really enjoy interacting with their PPG members and by working together as a team they can achieve so much for the benefit of all patients. I would urge anyone who thinks they could make a difference to speak with their practice.”

The awareness week is organised by the charity National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) and will culminate in the NAPP annual national conference in Cheshire on 11 June.

To find out more about patient participation, visit the NAPP website at www.napp.org.uk.

If you’re interested in joining your patient participation group speak to a member of staff at your GP surgery.