Welcome to the first edition of the Ongar Patient Participation Group
e-newsletter which is produced by the group in partnership with Ongar Health Centre for patients registered with the practice

I am the inaugural chair of the Ongar Health Centre Patient Participation Group (PPG).
I have lived in Ongar with my husband, Dan, for nearly 12 years. We have also gained the addition of two young children, and two dogs, since we moved to Ongar and we are happily raising our family in the area.
I first became involved with the PPG when I received an email from the Practice asking for greater public involvement with the Ongar Patient Forum.
Having just had two children and benefiting from fantastic NHS care with both, I felt that I wanted to give something back and decided to get involved.
It quickly became clear that times have changed in terms of what patient involvement with GP surgeries involves, with the existence of a Patient Participation Group now being a contractual requirement.
It is also crucial for a PPG to be representative of the wider patient community within the practice. And so to that end, myself and several other patients registered with the practice have formed the Ongar Health Centre PPG and we are on a mission to engage with patients and the local community. 

The purpose of a PPG is to be a critical friend of the surgery, to be a voice of patient opinion, and to help educate patients on the provision of primary health care.
The success of the PPG rests on patient involvement. This can be as small as signing up to our e-newsletter, becoming a member of our virtual PPG or getting in touch to give us ideas on ways you feel we could benefit the practice.
If you are able to give more time then why not consider joining our committee or volunteering at events?
We are welcome to all ideas, suggestions and feedback, and we hope to work hard to establish a meaningful and sustainable PPG for the benefit of the surgery and patients both now and in the future.
We hope we can rely on your involvement and support.
If you would like to find out more about how to get involved, please email 
COMMITTEE ELECTED: A committee was elected at the first meeting of the Ongar Patient Participation Group. The chairman is Jenny Juttner, the secretary is Roberta Abbott. The other members are Liz Barber, Sheila Cooper, Dawn Roche and
David Jackman.

PPG newsletter: In addition to this e-newsletter, the PPG also publishes a hard copy version. Copies are available from the surgery. To view the printed version of this edition CLICK HERE
Patient Research Ambassador: A patient registered with Ongar Health Centre is a Patient Research Ambassador helping with medical research projects across the region.
Stan Herbert, a pharmacist, has already assisted with an aspirin trial.
Jenny Day, research administrator at Ongar Health Centre, said: "Whilst Patient Research Ambassadors have been recruited more widely in secondary care (hospitals), primary care recruitment has not, so far, seen the same level of success."
Ongar Health Centre is among the first primary care centres in the North Thames Clinical Research Area, which stretches from Luton to Southend, to recruit a Patient Research Ambassador.
Jenny added: "Mr Herbert is a valuable addition to the Research Team at Ongar. The Ongar Health Centre Research Team is keen to increase the numbers of patients who take part in research studies. 
"Mr Herbert is able to talk to patients about his own personal experience of taking part in research which will help encourage others to participate."
Mr Herbert has already given his time to promote the ‘I am research’ campaign which gives patients, the public and health and social care research professionals a chance to shout about how fantastic research is. 
"We aim to raise awareness of the benefits of research and the positive impact it has on people's lives. We are delighted to have Mr Herbert on board."
Mr Herbert said: "As a pharmacist I have a professional as well as a personal interest in such matters. It was made clear that I could drop out at any stage. The whole process was voluntary.
"I was subsequently asked if I would like to take part in new trials for the use of Allopurinol in the treatment of ischaemic heart disease but although I agreed it transpired I was not a suitable patient.
"Since then I was asked if I would like to help raise awareness of these projects among patients at Ongar Health Centre with a view to adding more recruits to these trials."
He added Patient Research Ambassadors could be asked to take part in a course of treatment, short or long-term, record any dosage schedule and report any side effects.
Flu vaccines: As you get older your immune function decreases and this may cause traditional flu vaccines to be less effective. Adults over the age of 65 years may be less able to fight infection and to develop sufficient protective immune responses, or to generate immunological memory for future protection.
A new vaccine is available specifically for the use of those aged over 65.
Your GP surgery is the only place that holds all of your medical information and has ordered and saved a vaccine for all eligible patients - those aged over 65, and those under 65 with a long-term condition.
As this is a new vaccine, supplies have been staggered nationally. Ongar Health Centre will be running Flu Clinics throughout September, October and November to ensure you get the vaccine that is most effective for you.

Parking: Please can we remind visitors to the medical centre that this is not the place to park.
There is patient parking behind the medical centre and spaces are also available in the car park on the other side of Fyfield Road.
Patient Forum meeting: The next meeting of the Patient Forum is at Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre at 7pm on Wednesday, September 5. All patients registered with the practice are welcome to attend.
The Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre on NHS Choices: Find out more about the practice and see what patients have said about the services provided.
According to the Patients Survey, 84.5% of patients said they would recommend the practice and 84.5% were satisfied with the opening hours.
For more information about the practice
Health Secretary to visit hospital: The new Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, is set to visit The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.
During Health Questions in Parliament, Harlow MP Robert Halfon highlighted the work of hospital staff but explained that the deteriorating infrastructure made their day's work so much harder.
He said: "I'm really pleased to hear the new Health Secretary will be visiting Harlow's hospital. Since becoming Harlow's MP I have campaigned hard to protect our NHS and Health Ministers have visited regularly. The hospital staff work so hard every single day but their work is made so much harder by the deteriorating infrastructure. With a bid for the capital funding our hospital so desperately needs in place, it's important that the Health Secretary sees the hospital first-hand and meets staff face-to-face."

Paw Patrol visit: Youngsters know the Paw Patrol are good at protecting the community, and when the kids’ favourites plus Disney VIP Minnie Mouse visited the Harlow hospital they were keen to spread the message about protecting teeth and gums when you are young... Read more
League of Friends equips medical centre: The Ongar and District Healthcare League of Friends has spent over £33,000 on equipment for the medical centre since it opened. All items benefit both the practitioners and patients. The charity purchased the patient record filing system (£10,685) as well as various pieces of equipment including an ECG system (£2,360), various trolleys, examination couches and a vaccine refrigerator.
* Ongar Health Centre is a dispensing practice so can only dispense to patients who live more than one mile away, as the crow flies, from their nearest chemist  

* The practice sees about 3,700 patients face-to-face every month

* More than 200 people have already signed up to receive our e-newsletter and to join the Virtual PPG group

* The practice would like to thank the patient, who is a landscape gardener, who volunteered to tidy up the courtyard area at the medical centre
Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre, Fyfield Road, Ongar, CM5 OAL.
Tel: 01277 367200 
Website Email

ONGAR PPG: To contact the Ongar Patient Participation Group email

East of England Ambulance Service

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (provides integrated care including mental health, learning disability, social care and community health services)

NAPP (for information about Patient Participation Groups)

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust 

St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood

West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group
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Ongar Patient Participation Group · c/o Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre · Fyfield Road · Ongar, Essex CM5 OAL · United Kingdom

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