What a busy month of May! Following three bank holidays and a Coronation (sounds like a film title😊) we find ourselves at the end of another productive month, which began with our PPG webinar on Social Prescribing. The session was incredibly well attended with some great feedback. If you missed it or would like a refresher, view the recording.

Gill went along to the Grove PPG meeting in Sherborne where the group received an excellent presentation from Stormbreak.

“Stormbreak Shine” was commissioned by NHS Dorset with training being delivered in Dorset schools, starting in East Dorset and moving across the rest of the county. If you’d like more information, please contact hello@stormbreak.org.uk

Both Gill and Jim have been involved in a community conversations project called ‘100 Conversations’, where people get the opportunity to say what it’s like to live in Dorset and access services in the county. This month saw the 100th person telling their story, which was a fantastic milestone and the project is still ongoing. The community conversations initiative is diversifying to selected projects including diabetes/lower leg ulcers and Portland residents. For more information on any of the community conversations projects please contact Gill or Jim.

Poole Road practice (part of Shore Medical) in Westbourne invited Gill along to discuss plans to form a PPG. The practice manager was so enthusiastic with some great ideas for patient engagement – watch this space!

Swanage PPG invited Gill to their May PPG meeting where a PPG member reported a very positive experience having her COVID-19 booster at Wareham Hospital which was really good to hear.

Jim attended several PPG meetings in May including the first meeting of the Central Bournemouth PPG. There was a fantastic turnout with patients of each of the GP practices represented, and there was even tea & cake for everyone! There were some good discussions including the impact of the closure of the nearby Winton Health Centre and the direction for the PPG in the future.

At the Bere Regis PPG meeting Gill heard about the exciting plans for the carers tea party in June – the refreshments and cakes being discussed sounded delicious!

Next, Gill went along to the Cranborne Practice PPG meeting, the way the group works with and supports its practice is truly gold standard – check out their website if you get an opportunity.

There was cause to celebrate in Weymouth & Portland this month – the digital volunteers, a PPG-led group, based in GP practices help people access digital health services celebrated seeing their 1000th person! The Bridges PPG also followed on from their successful pre-diabetes talks with sessions for people with hypertension. These events were fully booked, and more are being planned for the future.

The Blackmore Vale (Shaftesbury & Fontmell Magna) PPG invited Gill to their first face-to-face meeting since before the pandemic! Dr Simone Yule and Sara Froud (Managing Partner) delivered excellent presentations to a rapt audience and there wasn’t a spare seat in the room.

To round the month off Gill was at Socially Connecting Shaftesbury, a monthly event held on the last Wednesday of every month in Shaftesbury Town Hall from 12 noon until 6pm. These are fantastic drop in events aimed at all things connected to mental health and wellbeing – do stop by next time if you can.

Gill and Jim helped to support a listening exercise with various stakeholders to mark 75 years since the formation of the NHS. There were some fantastic discussions about where people feel the NHS is making progress, what areas could be improved and how the organisation can improve to meet future needs.

Outside of work Gill went to a party to celebrate King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Coronation. Guests were surprised how delicious spinach and broad beans in a Coronation quiche could be – who knew?! Jim went to Lulworth castle to hear his wife perform as part of Rock Choir, went aboard the Spanish Galleon at Weymouth Harbour and started to construct some dreaded IKEA flatpack wardrobes!