Patient volunteers recognised for their hard work and dedication


Patient volunteers from across Fylde and Wyre have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication at the first Patient Participation Group (PPG) Awards in the area.

The Thornton Practice PPG, led by patient Gemma Jackson, scooped the PPG of the Year Award 2017 at the awards, organised by NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

PPGs are a forum for patients to communicate with their GP practice and offer patients the opportunity to put forward their views and suggestions.

They meet regularly to decide ways of making a positive contribution to the services and facilities offered by the surgery to its patients.

The awards were launched to celebrate the work of PPGs at the 19 practices across Fylde and Wyre in improving the link between local GP services and their patients.

There were also awards for the PPG at Ash Tree House in Kirkham, which won ‘Most Improved PPG’, Over Wyre Medical Centre was named ‘Most Engaged GP Practice’ and Karen Donley, of Holland House PPG in Lytham, won ‘PPG Volunteer of the Year’.

Broadway Medical Centre PPG was also highly commended in the ‘Most Improved PPG’ category while in the ‘PPG Volunteer of the Year’ category, Ian Gibson of Over Wyre Medical Centre PPG and Pauline Kennedy of Fleetwood Surgery PPG were also highly commended.


Gemma Jackson, who is the chair of The Thornton Practice PPG, said: “We were really pleased to win the award and it was wonderful to know that what we have been trying to do here has been noticed.

“We are blessed with a good number of really dedicated volunteers who have worked extremely hard to build a strong bond between the practice and patients.

“One of our key focuses has been to encourage healthy living and we have been delighted to see GPs actually using a booklet we produced during consultations with patients.”

Jill Cunliffe, deputy practice manager at Ash Tree House surgery in Kirkham, said: “Our PPG has done a lot to get itself established over the past six months or so and it was great to see their work rewarded in this way.”

The awards were held as part of a wider PPG Conference at The Villa in Wrea Green. This annual event brings PPG volunteers, practice staff and GPs together to share their experiences and help improve the relationship between practices and patients and make a real difference to local healthcare.

Fylde and Wyre CCG chief nursing officer Jennifer Aldridge, who is the executive lead for engagement, said: “We wanted to do something to recognise the work that our volunteers do.

“If we could give an award to every PPG and every volunteer then we would, but we had some very strong nominations and our winners really have gone above and beyond what is asked of them.”[/column]

Awards and citations:

Most Engaged GP Practice – Over Wyre Medical Centre

A practice with a well established PPG with which it has forged an extremely strong working relationship. This practice enjoys having a 50-member strong PPG to share ideas with and to maintain ongoing discussions about patient experience. This practice has also worked very closely with its PPG over the past year to help liaise with patients about a major practice expansion project that has been undertaken and has used the PPG to ensure patients are well informed about the development.

Most Improved PPG – Ash Tree House PPG

This PPG has come on in leaps and bounds in a very short space of time. It has transformed from an established virtual PPG with little engagement to a fully functioning PPG and held its first meeting in September. PPG membership has grown quickly with patients keen to get involved and the PPG has garnered strong support from its practice with GPs and practice staff attending meetings, which are now held on a bimonthly basis. This PPG is still very much in its infancy but it is already showing results and collaboration and most importantly that it is a patient group, led by patients who want to help the practice continually improve for the good of the patients.

Highly commended – Broadway PPG

PPG Volunteer of the Year – Karen Donley, Holland House PPG

The judges found it very difficult to pick a winner in this category but in the end it was an individual who demonstrates an extremely strong commitment to patient services and goes above and beyond her call of duty to benefit the wider community. Karen helped introduce a Dementia Friends training programme in their practice which has helped to raise around £12,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Her impressive knowledge and enthusiasm has led to training sessions for practices in other areas of Fylde and Wyre with more than 300 people receiving the benefit of their abilities.

Highly commended – Ian Gibson, Over Wyre Medical Centre PPG and Pauline Kennedy, Fleetwood Surgery PPG

PPG of the Year – The Thornton Practice

This PPG has helped the CCG to promote services through attendance at flu clinics and has also targeted carers through practice events. It has also had an input into patient legacy through the purchasing of a health check machine, wrist watch monitors, an ECG and beds in consulting rooms while developing links with schools around healthy eating. It also produced a healthy eating booklet which is referenced by GPs.


  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
  • Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
  • The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
  • Giving you more choice is a priority of the modern NHS. More information is available at
  • The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient:
  • There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Influence membership scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.