I arrived into this world during the 2nd World War. In fact my mother told me that when I was born in the July of 1942 in Solihull, German bombers used to follow the canal on the a moonlit night, using the canal as a navigation guide and then try to bomb the factories alongside the canal. There was of course many factories that were by the canal, the Rover, Wilmot Breeden, BSA and many more. In those days there was no such thing as an NHS, that didn’t come into being until 1948.
To celebrate the 70th Birthday of the NHS, Birmingham and Solihull CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) set up an event at the Vox, Resorts World, NEC Solihull. As an active member of a PPG (Patients Participation Group) in Sheldon. Sheldon Practice, I was invited to attend this event.
After the introduction by Gemma Coldicott, Head of Communications and Engagement, CCG, (see first photo). The first keynote speaker was Gema Jackson, Chair of the Thornton Practice PPG at Thornton-Cleveleys. She spoke for over an hour how she took over a Chair after first being Vice Chair of this very large practice. They have some very active people on this PPG who have even had to operate after the very severe winter that flooded the practice, they even added a new practice that had to close down. I most impressed with this PPG as it only been operating for two-years with the age of this group being between 71-82-years of age. They produce a an excellent quarterly newsletter which patients always look forward to, it gives details of all types of information such as when to have your flu jab, details of all the medical team and lots of tips on how to look after yourself. This PPG also tried to look at the obesity problem with young children by taking a team from their practice into local schools to talk to the children. The upshot from this was a painting competition organized for the children, they hung these pictures in the surgery. This went even further with a presentation at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool where the children received awards. Gemma answered lots of questions from the delegates, she was very received by everyone there. One comment from a delegate was do, they do this job full time as the PPG team seem to cover so much work.
The second speaker was more to do with financial matters on how our GP practices are funded and what the patient expects from their GP. The presenter was, Jason Fraser, he is Senior Primary care Contracting & Commissioning Manager. This is a very complex subject and many people who sit on PPG’s may perhaps find this subject above their pay grade. However, Jason gave a very professional presentation answering many questions raised by the delegates.
The last speaker for this event was on a particular subject that has got a lot of press coverage recently, missed appointments! This speaker was Shirley Bull from a PPG group in Sutton Coldfield. Shirley outlined how what not to do when patients miss appointments, she said there are various ways on how you approached this subject. There are various reasons as to why patients missed their appointment, forgetting, got stuck in a traffic jam, couldn’t get someone to look after the children etc. She has been working with her daughter at Manchester University on this very subject, they have produced a short video which was very informative on how to deal with this problem.
After the PPG groups and the Doctors groups had finished their separate group meetings, we all joined up for a buffet. The both groups then joined up together to have two more speakers to talk on how on how the the NHS was first formed on the 5th July 1948. They also spoke on how we have improved since its inception. We were also informed that our budget for Birmingham & Solihull CCG is 1.8 billion and we spend £57 per second. The event was completed by questions from the delegates put to a panel who tried to give the delegates honest answers to the questions.
(to see a larger image of the photos, just click on the photo)
Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26