This week awareness is being raised across the country in two important areas of sharing your voices and sharing your time and the value that both can bring to your communities.
First up we have National Patient Participation Week which is an event held each June to raise the profile of Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) who work with the NHS, especially in GP surgeries, to help steer NHS treatment by using the experiences and evaluations of patients.
Patient Participants Groups use lived experience to influence the way people are treated by GPs and medical professionals. The week also promotes the work of the National Association of Patient Participation (NAPP), which allows patient participation groups to work together nationally.
PPGs are a contractual requirement for medical centres and GP services helping to gather patient feedback to influence the way treatment is delivered.
Patient Participation Week offers a platform for talks and virtual conferences to take place which encourage people to get involved in their local practices and have a say on how services are run.
Visit your practice’s website to find out more about your local PPG and how you can get involved.
This week is also Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1-7 June, where many local organisations will be celebrating the difference volunteers make and thanking them for all their time.
For many organisations the week will be a chance to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities on offer. Volunteer fairs and other events will be encouraging people to try volunteering for the first time and help them discover how they can make a difference to a cause they are passionate about or even one they know nothing about but want to explore.
In Doncaster, one of the biggest and most successful volunteering projects we have experienced has been the vaccination programme. I would personally like to thank everyone at Voluntary Action Doncaster for all the incredible work they have done to support the rollout of our vaccination programme. Their help has enabled over 300,000 vaccinations to be administered across the borough, undoubtedly saving hundreds of lives and helping to reduce demand on vital hospital services.
Thank you to everyone who has given up their time to volunteer at the vaccination sites, we often get great feedback from patients that the marshals are friendly and kind.
If you are interested in volunteering for the local vaccination service, please visit: https://www.voluntaryactiondoncaster.org.uk/.