Virgin Care adds value to local healthcare, says Citizens’ Panel member

A Citizens’ Panel member believes Virgin Care is adding value to local healthcare ever since becoming a member of the panel early this year.

West Lancashire resident, Julie, joined the Citizens’ Panel – a virtual group of local people who are informed, asked and involved in delivering the organisation’s improvement plans – because of her interest in healthcare, and has become involved in helping achieving improvements to services for people who use them.

She said: “I feel Virgin Care is adding value to the local healthcare and I’ve enjoyed being part of a process to try and further improve the patient experience by sharing my views.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in local healthcare to join the panel and have their say so that we can help them deliver improvements.”

Virgin Care runs West Lancashire Adult Community and Urgent Care Services on behalf of West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group and launched the Citizens’ Panel in 2017.

It has since developed improvements to community services such as diabetes services and district nursing, as well as at the two walk-in centres in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk.

Julie has taken part in Citizens’ Panel workshops alongside other panel members, Virgin Care colleagues and service users to deliver a difference.

“The Citizens’ Panel has been enlightening. I had little understanding of what Virgin Care did before joining the panel, now I receive regular information about the services Virgin delivers locally,” said Julie. “I have attended two meetings where staff have explained more about the organisation and its vision. Virgin Care are trying to provide a first class service, and by asking for local input from any interested individuals it is a chance for us to put our points of view forward.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in local healthcare to join the panel and have their say. It’s a great way to express your views or concerns and to be part of the delivery of local health services,” she added.

All next week, between 11-15 June Virgin Care is celebrating the Citizens’ Panels work and achievements across the organisation during. People can visit a number of locations across the country to find out more about the work the panel has been involved in and also have the opportunity to sign up, including:

  • Essex: St Peter’s Hospital, Maldon (11 June), Chelmsford Family Hub, Chelmsford Library (11 June) and Tesco Extra, Fillbridge (13 June)
  • Bath and North East Somerset: Paulton Hospital (11-13 June), St Martins Hospital (13-15 June) and the Volunteer Centre, Bath Library (11-15 June)
  • North Kent: Gravesham Community Hospital, Sittingbourne Hospital, Swale Community Hospital and Livingstone Hospital (11-15 June)
  • East Staffordshire: Octagon Shopping Centre, Burton (13 June)
  • West Lancashire: Concourse Shopping Centre, Skelmersdale (15 June)

People can also easily sign up online by visiting www.citizenspanel.co.uk.

Michelle Lee, Managing Director for Virgin Care West Lancashire said: “We’re very proud of what the Citizens’ Panel and its members have been able to help us achieve so far in West Lancashire, working with us to develop new ways of providing services which work for local people and deliver improved outcomes.

“Current members, including Julie, are making some really positive contributions to our services, and we welcome more people to join the Citizens’ Panel to help us make a difference to people’s lives.”

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