In outlining the functions of the Nairn Healthcare Patients Participation Group last night at the AGM held in the Community and Arts Centre last night, the Chair Simon Noble pointed out that it was not the PPG’s role to take forward individual complaints he said:
"It is not our role to take forward individual complaints. We are concerned with wider concerns, for example if we hear of half a dozen issues that are all the same, maybe some people would want to complain about and that is something that we would take forward. That then is more of a systemic issue and that is what our role is, in representing you in trying to see services improve in the area."
Simon then spoke about the Patient’s Rights Act: “Basically it is there to empower us as patients in having a role, in shaping the way in which services develop in the NHS , so therefore in the GPs surgery as well. The extent to which that has filtered through to all the organisations in the NHS remains to be seen and what we are aware of is different degrees of implementation and take up which I suppose is natural when there is a process of change taking place in a very large organisation but it is really reassuring for us as patients to be able to read documents that set out expectations and obligations to involve us in some effective ways in shaping the services that we receive.”
The Chair went on to talk about “thorny issues”: “We’ve also had some difficult thorny issues to try and tackle which have been difficult for us and for the practice in terms of trying to take forward. We’ve learnt often from patients that they have concerns about raising their own concerns. They maybe don’t want to make a formal complaint, they do maybe want to say something about the way in which they felt they were treated right or they misunderstood something and they wanted to deal with it but they have been reluctant to raise it either as a complaint or a concern because they are worried that that will then mark them out as being difficult or being a troublemaker. We’ve also heard very clearly from the practice that is not something, and indeed from the NHS, that is not something that happens. There is no red flag against your case record if you’ve raised a complaint. But nevertheless it is a genuine fear that exists among some patients.”
More from the patients participation group meeting when time permits