Anita's story

I was a member of the Patient Reference Group at the Strand Medical Group in Worthing when I was asked if I would help set up a Patient Participation Group (PPG). I volunteered to be the secretary and a meeting was arranged. The PPG was established in September 2015. I feel our role is to be the patients’ voice, to act as representatives of the patients, to get feedback and support the practice.

We have regular meetings with the Practice Manager and a GP. Our achievements have included supporting the plans for the new surgery, producing a newsletter available to patients and forwarded to our Virtual PPG, having a Comments Book at Reception and supporting the National Association of Patient Participation Awareness Week when we have members in the waiting room talking to patients and handing out the Annual Survey. We also have representatives at the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group meetings.

After a request from a patient we started fund-raising with a Christmas Raffle. Last year we bought a new screen for the waiting room and this year we will be buying a Doppler Machine.

I have helped set up a network group for PPGs in West Sussex as it was apparent that PPGs wanted to exchange ideas. The first meeting was in October and our next meeting is planned for March where we will discuss a topic suggested by representatives, e.g. communication with the wider patient population.

I joined the PPG because I like to be involved in something local and I think that as a patient I can give my support to the Practice, helping them to maintain and improve the patient experience.