A group of patients from Maylands Healthcare have won an award for dedicating hundreds of hours of their time to help their GP practice after it was flooded in June.

Maylands Healthcare was forced to temporarily close its surgery building when the River Rom burst its banks after heavy rain, leaving some rooms under two feet of water. However, members of the practice’s Patient Participation Group (PPG) immediately rallied round to help affected patients, and for the last two months they have been at the front door of the practice every day to direct patients to the temporary consulting rooms in the car park while the building is being refurbished.
To recognise the resourcefulness and dedication of the group to helping their fellow patients during this difficult time, Havering Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has awarded them a trophy.

Conor Burke, chief officer of Havering CCG, who presented the award at the CCGs’ annual general meeting on Wednesday 14 September, said: “What the Maylands patient participation group have done is remarkable.

“As the practice was faced with an emergency situation the group were immediately on hand to help. They used their initiative throughout and they played an invaluable role in helping those most in need to still see a doctor when they needed to. They truly are a shining example of why all practices should have a patient participation group, and what can be achieved through people power.”

Patient participation groups represent patients’ views, and give advice to their local GP practice on how they could make improvements or promote healthy living.

Maylands PPG chair, Nigel Bloor, was on hand on the day of the flooding, and said: “Once I saw the amount of water on the roads that morning in June I immediately thought that the surgery might have been flooded. I headed straight there and saw it was under two feet of water, so I offered to help in any way I could.”

As the phone line was down Nigel and the group were essential to keeping people informed of what was happening at the practice and how they could see a doctor. Not only there in the first few days, the group have dedicated the whole of their summer to helping out at the practice.

Maisie Whitelock, the PPG Secretary said: “We’ve been down at the practice every day since the flooding, talking to patients, collecting prescriptions and taking in deliveries for the practice – anything we can do to help. Winning the award from the CCG is absolutely brilliant, and it was very unexpected!”

Anyone can get involved with their local patient participation group, just speak to reception at your GP practice. You can also influence local decisions about healthcare and the work of the CCG by joining our patient engagement reference forum, 

Article used with permission of Havering CCG