Are you passionate about the NHS and local health services?

Do you have ideas about how services at your GP practice could be improved?

If the answer is yes, ask your GP about joining a Patient Participation Group (PPG) – every practice in B&NES has one.

This week is PPG Awareness Week, and to mark it, the CCG is holding a joint meeting for all 27 PPGs in the area.

Attendees at the meeting will hear  about big plans to improve the way care is provided in local communities  with updates on the your care, your way community services procurement process and the CCG’s primary care strategy.

The meeting is also a chance for PPGs to discuss how they can influence these changes in their own communities.

We hope that the meeting and the awareness week will spark fresh interest from local residents in joining their PPG, to take control of their health and help shape services for others.

Members of PPGs from two B&NES practices will give presentations at the meeting on some of the changes they have been able to make at their surgeries.

Talking about PPG Awareness Week, GP and local broadcaster Dr Phil Hammond said: “Patients and carers are the smoke alarms for the frontline of the NHS. They are often first to spot poor care and also have great ideas about how to make care better.

“They need to be involved in decisions not just about their care, but in designing better care for others. Patient Participation Groups are a crucial way of harnessing the voice of the patient in primary care, and have much to contribute in driving up quality.”

If you would like to find out more about joining the PPG at your local surgery then contact them directly.

You can also find out more information about PPGs from the National Association for Patient Participation (www.napp.org.uk).