Following the recent publication of a CQC report on the quality of care provided at Court Thorn surgery in Hesket, where the local Patient Participation Group (PPG) was praised for the outstanding support it provides to both the surgery and the local community, the PPG has teamed up with MP Rory Stewart to encourage their adoption more widely in the Eden area. The Penrith and the Border MP has written to all surgeries in Eden to highlight the success of Hesket PPG, and has offered support to any surgeries keen on setting up their own group.

Patient Participation Groups serve as a mechanism by which a local community can work with their GP surgery to improve services and promote health and improved quality of care. Hesket PPG for example, has held a number of seminars and events to promote health and wellbeing for local residents, including: a ‘Heart Start’ course working with Community First Responders, a dementia awareness seminar and a ‘Putting your affairs in order’ seminar.

Rory Stewart said:

“I am a firm and passionate believer in localism, and I feel that PPGs are a fantastic way of re-establishing and maintaining strong links between a GP surgery, and the community it serves. At a time when I worry about the long-term viability of many of our small, rural surgeries, PPGs could serve as an important tool by which to highlight their on-going importance, and broaden the services we can offer to rural communities.”

Jennie Sutton, Facilitator to the Hesket PPG, said:

“The idea behind Practices investing time in patients and recruiting a Patient Participation Group is that you have the benefit of exploring issues and challenges from a patient perspective, helping to ensure better and more responsive solutions to care.”

Tony Lainsbury, the Chair for Court Thorn Surgery PPG, said:

“Working with Court Thorn Surgery at every level, from the waiting room, to the systems and processes used day to day and then through leadership and strategic decision making, ensures the patients’ voice is heard and considered every step of the way!”

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