Saturday, June 1, marks the start of the first National Patient Participation Awareness Week which aims to encourage people across the country to find out more about their local health services.
Horsham and Mid Sussex NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is keen to play its part by encouraging local people to join its free membership scheme.
This will enable you to receive news about opportunities to work with the CCG, for example to be part of surveys and consultations, and also to find out about how you can play a key role in helping to improve local health services.
The CCG is also hoping raise awareness about Patient Participation Groups (PPGs), which exist in most of the 23 GP practices across Horsham and Mid Sussex.
Such groups are run by patients with the help of practice managers and GPs, and are there to help ensure that practices meet the needs of people in the local area.
Most groups offer the option either to meet regularly or to contribute to topics via email or fax and there is always a ready welcome for new and enthusiastic members.
So, even if you are not a regular user of your local surgery, why not consider getting involved with your PPG, or attending one of their events?
Mark Davies, Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement in Horsham and Mid Sussex, said: “We need and actively encourage people to get involved in healthcare across Horsham and Mid Sussex.
“One of the best ways of doing this is to join our membership scheme, or to become involved with your own surgery’s PPG.
“This will allow you to help us shape how local healthcare services can be further developed and improved.”
To join the Membership Scheme please email HSCCG.Contactusfirstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01293 600300 ext 3965.
Recent changes to the NHS mean that health and social care services are being designed around the needs of the individual and local community in which they live.
In the new NHS, patients have a key role to play in the choice of their healthcare - designing services around what they say is important and how they want to access services according to what suits them best.
People who would like to know more about their local PPG, and how to get involved, should contact their practice directly.