Iwade patient participation group

Above: PPG members meet the Iwade practice team at the November open day.

Iwade Health Centre has been a longstanding GP practice to around 6,000 residents in the area. A new Patient Participation Group (PPG) was launched shortly before a change of management for the practice.

There had previously been problems with staffing levels, but since the clinical commissioning group arranged for DMC healthcare to takeover the running of the surgery, things have been improving rapidly. Positive progress has included the practice’s support for the PPG, and the members’ suggestion of an Open Day where existing and new staff members were on hand to speak with patients and members of the community.

The November event gave patients an opportunity to meet many members of staff including Dr Ola, Sara Hitchen – Head of Primary Care for DMC, Debbie Warner – Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Maxine – Medical Secretary at the practice for the past five years, who has the task of responding to over one hundred items on average of correspondence each month. The practice also introduced their new pharmacist, Corina who will be busy carrying out 4,000 patient medication reviews.

Paul Holowczycki (PPG member) said: “It was a pleasure to meet the staff and to hear that they felt valued, they felt their work is rewarding. I’ve seen a real improvement in the practice with staff morale and public confidence in the surgery.”  Paul also commented that there has been a boost in positive comments on the Iwade Health Centre Facebook page.

Lesley, a new patient of the practice, said she had found out about the event from Facebook and was glad to attend as it was an opportunity to confirm that she can see the same GP where possible, which is the continuity of care that she wants in a practice.

Graham Pungenti (PPG Chair) said: “The event was very well attended, and patients had the opportunity to meet the staff, nurses, and Dr Ola. Patients discussed various items of interest, and were generally very happy with the way the surgery has improved under the new provider. We are pleased with the way patients and staff interacted, and some minor issues were dealt with to patients’ satisfaction. We will be hosting other events during 2018, and look forward to the continued support of the practice, the CCG and patients.”

If you’re thinking of joining or starting a patient participation group linked to your local GP practice, find out more in our Get Involved pages.