Patients’ views are very important to us and together with the H.O.P.E. Family Centre we have set up a local Bromyard Participation Group.
The H.O.P.E. Centre (Holistic Opportunities for Play and Education) for Children and their Families is one of the organisations with whom we now provide services in partnership. Many of our patients use the H.O.P.E. Centre and we share common values, for example that of caring for others. We feel there are benefits from closer cooperation between our two organisations when seeking your views.
An essential purpose of the Participation Group is to represent the views of the patients registered with the Practice. This includes involving patients in decisions which lead to changes to the services we provide at the Practice or in those we help commission elsewhere. The Group meets four times a year and an important task for the Group is to carry out patient surveys. The Group helps representatives from the Practice decide which questions to include in the survey, discusses the findings of the survey and agrees the actions to take as a result.
You may already be aware that the Department of Health carries out a twice yearly national survey of our patients to ask questions on specific areas of our service. Some of you may have received these surveys in the post and details can be found at www.gp-patient.co.uk . However, we are keen to seek additional, local user feedback concerning the services we offer, so the surveys carried out by the Participation Group complement these national surveys and help to capture the local issues.
Membership of the Participation Group
The initial membership of the Group reflects the wish to target disadvantaged sections of our community. There are representatives of the Herefordshire Carer’s Support, Age UK, Herefordshire Care Homes, the ethnic community, Bromyard & Winslow Town Council and H.O.P.E. Family Centre users.
To perform its functions, the Group also includes management and clinicians from the H.O.P.E. Centre and the Practice, but voting members must be registered patients of the Practice. The Group can co-opt non-patients to attend meetings and give advice. For example, Mr Euan McPherson, the Head of Public Experience for Herefordshire Public Services has provided valuable help and guidance in the formation and functions of the group and in the design and analysis of surveys.