One of the reasons I became a councillor is to get involved in my local community and to help make things better. It’s something I know many people want to do, but with the busy lives we all lead, it can be hard to commit to attending regular meetings and events.
But helping to improve services doesn’t have to be complicated, or mean a big time commitment. Simply having your say and getting in touch with local groups can make a significant difference and can improve things for others.
As part of my responsibility for liaising with NHS organisations in the county, I recently attended a meeting of the Patient Participation Group at the Hereward Practice in Bourne. The group has been running for around a year and is a forum for patients of the practice to feed in any concerns, as well as sharing positive experiences too.
I was impressed with how well the group is run and how every issue was well-considered. The group are clearly dedicated to making sure their GP service meet everyone’s needs, and I would encourage you to contact the group to tell them about your experiences of using the practice.
At the moment the group are looking at the issues around appointment availability and would welcome information and feedback from residents using the practice. The Galletly Practice also has a similar patient involvement group, that you can talk to.
Other organisations also exist in Lincolnshire to look at the wider range of health services in the county. Healthwatch Lincolnshire is a fairly new organisation, and they want to hear about your good and bad experiences of health and care in the county including services such as social care, hospitals, dentists and community nursing. They treat all feedback confidentially and can raise issues with key local and national decision-makers. They are currently carrying out an independent survey into Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments in the county and would like to hear your views. The survey closes on 7 February and can be accessed at www.healthwatchlincolnshire.co.uk or by calling 01205 820892.
There are many unsung heroes in the Bourne area who give their time, often unpaid, to community work, and I believe we can all show our appreciation for their efforts by simply sharing our thoughts. If you want to get involved with the Patient Participation Groups, ask for more information at your local surgery.