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Help run your GP surgery, London patients are urged

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:27 05 October 2010

A CAMPAIGN begins in London today to get the public involved in participation’ groups and have a say in how their local GP surgeries are run. The campaign wants more groups up and running this year

A CAMPAIGN begins in London today to get the public to set up or get involved in participation’ groups and have a say in how their local GP surgeries are run.

Only four-out-of-10 practices have a patients’ support group. The campaign by the National Association for Patient Participation wants to see more up and running this year.

“The groups serve as a bridge between the practice and the community,” said Sandy Gower, a trustee of the association. “It’s about taking control of our own healthcare and taking action to help shape the way NHS services are run.”

Volunteers meet regularly with the practice manager and one or more GPs from the practice and are active in getting surgery opening hours extended and bringing in more flexible appointment times.

They also help winter flu jab clinics run smoothly, start local transport schemes to get less-able patients to surgeries, set up health information libraries and even establish bereavement counselling.

A £30,000 fund was set up by the Department of Health in Whitehall in August to get groups going. The deadline for applications for the next round of grants is tomorrow (Tuesday), with awards being made next month. Application packs can be downloaded here from the National Association’s website.


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