As a project team we recruited and engaged with people from five different areas of East Riding, who had expressed an interest in giving their time, working with the staff in their local GP practice or surgery. Exploring new ways to improve services the practice offers and to help meet the health needs of patients and the wider community.
Practice Health Champions are volunteers who, with support, work in partnership with their local GP practices, to transform the health & wellbeing of the communities in which they live. Champions donate as much or as little time that they can give in their roles and bring a diverse range of skills, interests and passion to their work. They empower themselves, their friends and families and their communities to lead happier and healthier lives.
You will first need to speak to the practice champion staff liaison or a practice champion. You will then be invited to attend the champion steering meeting which will take place once per month at the practice. This will enable you to meet the staff and the champions, find out information about the programme and share your interests and drivers to be involved.
The only specification to be a champion is you must be aged over 18. However if you are under this age and would like to be involved please speak to the practice, there may be other opportunities the champions can signpost you to.
No set skills, abilities or qualifications are needed to be a champion. This does not mean that champions are not invited to utilize the skills they have gained through their life experiences, their working lives or education. But we believe, everyone has something to bring, regardless of their background. Even if they don’t believe it themselves!
The amount of time you have to give is totally up to you as an individual and how much you are willing to commit to the project. There is no strict agreement that will hold you to a set amount of hours or days per week. We believe everyone has something to both give and gain, no matter what their own flexibility and time commitments are. We have volunteers that want to donate in excess of ten hours plus a week and volunteers that donate half an hour every few months. We welcome all that you can give – and believe this best reflects the true picture of everyone in the community.
The areas you can be involved will depend on, good communication with the practice, champions and local services. By having strong connectivity in all these areas will ensure that you as a champion can gain full benefit from the programme alongside giving as much time as you can to help improve health and wellbeing.
Contact us here
This is what current champions have shared with us, about what they feel is the benefit to being volunteers for this project:
• Having a voice
• Making friends
• Getting to know others in their community
• Feeling empowered
• Feeling less isolated
• Feeling part of something; part of a group
• Supporting the NHS overall
• Supporting their local practice
• Increasing their confidence
• CV support, employment and education opportunities
• Better mental health
• And much more…see their own testimonials on our Champion Video
Having the practice health champions within the practice helps:
• Connecting with patients
• Working with local communities
• Listening to patient need but also been supported with its delivery
• Offering reassurance
• Being assisted with delivering practice information e.g. patient surveys, staff updates, appointment booking guides etc.
• Looking forward and helping to create change
• Thinking and responding innovatively to a challenging economic landscape
• And much more…see their own testimonials on our Champion Video.
The project responded innovatively to the national and local need to provide workable solutions in a tough economic landscape and helped rise to the challenge of providing care for the complex and often multi-faceted health needs of the population. We worked on the belief the best solutions come through empowering the very people that the NHS serves and by working in partnership with local practice. This has been proven with the engagement of almost 150 patients working with practices as champions, signposting patients to specific services and the promotion of specific initiatives.
See our Champion Video here for more information.