Birmingham patients and GP practices win conference accolades

Patients and healthcare professionals from three Birmingham GP practices scooped awards at the second annual event aimed at encouraging greater involvement by the city’s patients in the NHS.

Around 90 people took part in the Birmingham Patient Participation Groups’ (PPGs) 2015 Conference. The event gave patients, PPG chairs, GPs and practice managers the chance to hear about work taking place in the NHS locally, as well as to share their own thoughts and experiences.

The conference, organised by theBirmingham PPG Chairs’ Forum and PPG members, and supported by Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group, was also an opportunity to recognise the work of PPGs and practices in the city.

Chair of the PPG Chairs’ Forum, Anne Care, presented three awards at the event: 

Hall Green Health took the award for new PPG. It was applauded for the huge amount of work that has gone into the group, which is less than a year old. Formerly practice led, it is now run independently by practice patients and actively recruits members by linking with the surgery’s chronic illness campaigns.

Swanswell Medical Centre in Acocks Green was the winning existing PPG. The group won the award for the way it proactively seeks the views of patients in the surgery, and takes its recruitment campaigns out into community settings such as libraries and community centres.

Manor Practice in Ashfurlong was presented with the ‘your practice’ award by the PPG chairs for the way in which it works collaboratively with the practice PPG, and the introduction of extended opening at one of its surgeries.

Anne Care, Chair of the PPG Chairs Forum, said: “The awards were very well received. We believe we have the only PPG Chairs’ Forum and PPG conference in the country and we wanted to recognise the hard work that’s being carried out in practices across Birmingham. PPG members are all volunteers and are a valuable resource for practices and patients alike.

“I’m delighted that, for the second year running, the conference was a huge success. Patient representatives reported that they’d learnt an enormous amount about the internal workings of the NHS. By not only presenting them with information, but doing so in a user-friendly way, we were able to give people a better understanding of important issues that they could then take back to their individual practices for discussion.”

Subjects on the agenda for the day included a presentation by Andrew John of Healthwatch Birmingham on how the organisation is engaging with patients on the delivery of health services.  There was also a talk by PPG chair and interim chair of the Local Patient Network (LPN) for east Birmingham, Keith Hulin, about the Birmingham CrossCity CCG pilot scheme to introduce LPNs, enabling communities to work together to help shape the local NHS.

One of the conference speakers was CCG Chair and local GP, Dr Gavin Ralston. He talked to delegates about the Aspiring to Clinical Excellence (ACE)’ programme running across the CCG area that aims to ensure all the CCG’s patients have access to the same high-quality primary care services.

Dr Ralston said: “I was very pleased to see so many people give up their valuable time to take part in the conference.  It was very interesting to hear more about the important contribution made by PPGs working closely with their practice to help ensure that the services offered are well suited and tailored to the needs of the local population.”

Birmingham CrossCity CCG PPG awards - Hall Green HealthPic cap 1: Hall Green HealthPPG member Bernie Aucott


Birmingham CrossCity CCG PPG awards - Swanswell Medical CentrePic cap 2: (from left)Swanswell Medical Centre GP Dr Philip Schuppler, PPG chair Jacqueline Cunningham, and PPG member John o’ Donnell




Birmingham CrossCity CCG PPG awards - Manor PracticePic cap 3: (from left) Manor Practice PPG chair Gordon Barber and practice manager Carole Cotterill    

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