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21 September 2007 at 16:01
There is a small but dedicated team of volunteers known as the Patient Experience Group whose aim is to improve the experience of patients using the hospital services by involving them, their cares and members of the public in what we do.

René Rimmer, one of the members of the group said, “I’ve benefited from the hospital services over the years and I felt I wanted to put something back. We get involved in various inspections of the hospitals and get to talk to the patients when we visit the wards asking them about their experience.”

The Group, which currently has six members, is looking for more people who would be willing to give up a few hours of their time each month. There is a monthly meeting for an hour or so on the second Wednesday of each month and a few additional hours arranged to suit the individual.

As well as taking part in the inspections, the Group also helps monitor Patient Experience Healthcare Commission Standards identifying areas of good practice and areas for improvement; reviewing patient information leaflets ensuring the use of plain English; reviewing patient questionnaires from departments such as Clinical Audit making sure they are user friendly.

Beth Packwood, who has recently joined the Group added, “We get to sit on some of the Trust’s Committees to make sure the patient’s views are put across. I think it is very important that the views of the patients are made as high profile as possible and I would recommend people get involved if they have the time.”

Richard McCarthy, General Manager, who chairs the Group commented, “The Group is a very important way of getting in touch with our patients. They provide important feedback to us because often patients feel more comfortable talking to someone who is not ‘from the Trust’. We would like more volunteers to join the Group and would welcome people from right across our area.”

If you are interested in joining the Patient Experience Group you can contact Sandy Cribb or Matthew King on 01704 704494/704714 or e-mail or

Pictured from left to right are:
Beth Packwood, Dot Rimmer (accompanied by Rascal), Pat Fennell and René Rimmer. Also on the Group but not pictured are Ann Phythian, Rita Goodman and Barbara Griffiths.

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714