Patient group to hold first open meeting

Edzell Health Centre

Edzell Health Centre

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The Patient Participation Group (PPG) for the Edzell Health Centre is holding its first annual open meeting on Tuesday, March 17.

The meeting will be held at the Edzell Health Centre, starting at 7 p.m. Everyone who is a registered patient of the Health Centre is encouraged to come along and learn more about the work of the PPG.

The PPG was established almost two years ago to enable the staff of the practice to engage with a small group of patient representatives, as part of the practice’s quest for continuous improvement in the relationship between staff and patients and services provided.

Anne Taylor, chairwoman of the PPG, explained: “Being a small rural practice, Edzell has historically been able to offer a more personal service to patients than many larger urban health centres.

“However, the PPG offers a regular opportunity for members to meet with Dr Marc Jacobs on a planned basis, where we can share ideas and learn more about the constraints under which GPs in Scotland operate.

“We now feel that the PPG has matured sufficiently to enable us to share our work with other patients registered with the practice.”

The PPG has an indicative membership of between 10 and 12 patients. At the moment, there is space for one or two extra members, and the PPG is keen to encourage new members who can represent the younger adults and families on the practice’s list.

Anne continued: “It would be good if some younger folk come along to the open meeting and are willing to put their names forward for membership.

“They will be able to reflect more accurately the kinds of service that they need.”

Dr Jacobs commented: “The PPG has certainly helped me and my staff on ways in which the practice can improve communications with patients, and I know they have learned more than a little about the demands made by government on GP practices, especially reporting and performance measurement. It’s good to be able to share some of these demands with others outside the medical profession.

“We do feel that the Edzell practice offers something special, but we know there are still ways in which we can improve. As in any business, it is frequently the customer who is best placed to identify where we can do better.”

Membership of the PPG is voluntary. The main expectation is that members will attend four meetings a year at the health centre, in March, June, September and December, starting at 7 p.m. and finishing by 8.30.

No special knowledge or experience is required, apart from a willingness to work with the staff of the practice and other members for the greater good of all the patients of the health centre.

The PPG’s first annual report has been prepared for the open meeting. Copies are available from the health centre.