We are delighted to welcome this group of fourteen enthusiastic and committed local people who gift their time to our surgery. We were amazed at the response we had from the initial text message circulated to our patients back in July, we had over 311 expressions of interest in the work.
The process of Champion finding was organised by ‘Altogether Better’ an established national NHS Organisation. Which brings citizens together to work with GP practices.
The aim is to do things differently in Primary Care and relieve pressure by improving general wellbeing among specific patient groups by means other than a visit to the doctor or nurse, eg lessening social isolation, exercising in similar company, support for carers and so on.
Twenty Champions met with the surgery team for two days of workshops in September. Ideas were explored to see how the skills, interests and passions of our Champions could best help our patient population. Plans were made. This is very much an evolving process and will continue to be so as the work gets established.
The ‘Cuppa and Chat Champions’ were the first to kick off on January 9th at 13:00 in the downstairs reception.
The entrance area suddenly gained a new vibe with smiling faces, hot drinks and biscuits. It was clearly a success as the patients returned again two weeks later. The champions have commented that this also gives some carers a welcome extra breather, so they were effectively killing two birds with one stone.
30th January saw the very first ‘Dog Walking Champion’ meet, 09:30 at the surgery or 10:00 in the park. No dog required! The aim is to bring together patients for gentle exercise in good company canine or otherwise.
Other projects planned for the future include, a group for patients with dementia, the development of a guide to all the services available for young people with mental health and emotional issues. A gentle exercise class, and nutritional guidance for prediabetic patients.
Our Wall House Champions are a really friendly bunch, who are giving up their time and energy to bring a new dimension to our surgery. We are very excited to see how these projects develop, and we are certain that the patients will only benefit long term from their help.