David Harland, the Chair of Lakeside Corby's newly re-formed Patient Participation Group, is looking forward to working with the practice to represent patients' views.
The PPG acts as a 'critical friend' to the surgery, meeting with managers and clinicians, raising issues and feeding back information to the patients and community.
Mr Harland said: 'It is about being a bridge into the community and critiquing things that the practice presents, giving constructive feedback from a patient and carer's perspective on changes in operation or any issues that they have. The PPG needs an accurate understanding of the challenges from patient, carer and practice perspectives to function effectively.
'For the PPG to be effective, there has to be a degree of openness. To their credit, Lakeside staff have not glossed over any of the issues raised and have been very positive, have given time to meet with the PPG and start the process of developing the communications and relationship that's needed as we go forward together.'
He and the PPG have met clinicians and management at the practice, and he has also had a behind the scenes tour of operations, including the call centre, to understand better how Lakeside functions.
The PPG has had presentations about the planned upgrade of the telephone system; clinical team restructure; and social prescribing. As a package, these are designed to address patient access and best use of practice resources, delivering a better all-around experience for patients and staff.
'The hope is that collectively we can make a positive difference for patients and the community. We are looking in terms of what can we realistically do that will have a meaningful impact and make the situation better for patients. That is what excites me, along with the fact that the practice has been very open and welcoming. It looks to develop that relationship with the PPG and community, and that is all to the good.'
The PPG, which has around a dozen members, meet once a month.