Patient participation

Further to your piece about the Lerwick Health Centre in last week’s Shetland Times.

It would help hugely if the Lerwick Health Centre had a patient participation group (PPG).  There are over 100 across Scotland of these patient-led groups, linked to a local general practice, working alongside GPs and practice staff to provide a patient perspective on healthcare services that are offered to the community.

A number of attempts have been made by the Lerwick Health Centre (LHC)  staff to set up a PPG over the past few years.  In each case very few people turned up for the initial meetings and these initiatives were not been able to progress any further.

This is a shame as good communication between the practice and the community goes a long way to preventing frustrations building up and complaints then going to councillors.

As we, the Shetland Public Partnership Forum, found out when we did the investigation into the appointment system in 2013, Lerwick Health Centre doctors, staff and management are very willing to listen.  Following the survey we had meetings with each of these groups as well as NHS Shetland senior management and board members.

The result was the development and implementation of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner led model and the abolition of the “walk-in clinics”.

Over 900 Lerwick Health Centre patients responded to the survey.  Surely some must be willing to participate in a forum that ensures patient voices are heard and that the good work of the LHC is shared with the community.

Anyone wishing to participate in a patient group should call the practice and give them their contact details.

Harold Massie

Chairman, Shetland Public Partnership Forum




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