The Tollerford Practice has surgeries in Maiden Newton and Beaminster. As part of its contract with the NHS, every surgery in the UK is required to set up a Patient Participation Group. Some GP Practices are still struggling to set up any meaningful groups. That is not the case here. One of the first initiatives of the PPG, in response to a request from the Practice Manager, was to find volunteers to do a weekly ‘drug’ run in Maiden Newton and Beaminster. Two couples provide this invaluable service for those who find it difficult to travel any kind of distance to pick up their own prescriptions. For many the weekly visits also represent a welcome opportunity for some social interaction.
Since its inception in 2015 the PPG has now evolved to concentrate on three main areas:
Two way communication – between the Practice and its patients within the context of national and locally imposed ‘targets’. The Practice has to contend with the challenges presented by an ageing patient population and a finite budget. The Practice uses the PPG as a sounding board for new ways of tackling issues and is open to constructive suggestions.
Fundraising – for buying equipment that the Practice could not otherwise afford to purchase and to provide the PPG with the financial status to apply for grant funding to support non-clinical health and well-being initiatives.
Social Prescribing – the Practice is keen to develop activities that contribute to general well-being and are preventative in nature. The PPG is taking an active role in this, providing organisational skills and recruiting the volunteers needed to bring ideas into reality. The recently launched ‘Walking for Health’ scheme and Chair Based Exercises are the first examples of these.
Who can attend? Quite literally any adult over the age of 18 who is ‘interested’ in preserving and improving primary health care (your GP Practice) can join the PPG. We are particularly interested in attracting patients from younger age groups so that we are more representative of the total spectrum of the patient population.
Where do we meet? The PPG meets alternatively at the Tunnel Road Practice (Beaminster) and Pound Piece (Maiden Newton). Meetings are quarterly and are scheduled to start at 7.30pm and last no longer than two hours. Minutes of the last meeting can be found here.
How do I attend? If you would like to attend the next meeting just email the Practice Manager, Emma Hallett or phone 01308 861800.