In 1999 a group of community minded patients got together to set up ‘The Friends of St Chad’s and Chilcompton Surgery’ with the intention of raising money to purchase equipment and other items for the Surgeries for which NHS funding was not available. The Friends is a registered charity, but also fulfils the functions of a Patient Participation Group (PPG).
A PPG is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to improve the service. The purpose of a PPG is to give patients and practice staff the opportunity to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest.
We normally meet at St. Chad’s, in the late afternoon, up o 6 times a year. Our AGMs are in August and are advertised in local press.
The Friends have organised a variety of talks by Consultants and Health Professionals. These are usually held in the Methodist Hall or the Somer Centre and admission is free and open to any member of the public – not just our patients. Events are advertised in the waiting rooms at both surgeries and in the local press. Subjects covered have included: The Heart, Get fit keep fit, Drug Awareness, Looking after your back, Holiday Health Hazards, Menopause, Memory Loss, Asthma, Breast Problems, Osteoporosis and H.R.T., Stress management, Keeping Diabetes at Bay, Why diets don’t work.
There is a 100 Club with monthly draws. The names of winners are posted in the waiting rooms. The cost is £12 per year. Membership forms are available at both surgeries. We hold a Christmas Raffle, supported by local traders, which also furthers our objectives.
We take stalls at local events in our area. In most years we receive unsolicited, but very welcome, donations and bequests.
In recent years, we have raised about £3/4,000 each year, although the months of the pandemic have been extremely difficult. All money raised goes to provide items for the benefit of the patients registered at both surgeries. All funds are raised locally.
Since we started more than fifty purchases have been made ranging in cost from around £100 to over £2000 each and over £40,000 has been spent in total. Examples include:
Spirometer and Syringe £1366
Radiolaze for minor surgery £1756
Upholstering waiting room chairs £1188
Cardiac event monitor & software £890
Scanner and Label Printer for Prescription Checking at Chilcompton £1950
2 nebulisers & a 24-hour Blood Pressure monitor (shared between both practices) £2200
Two ECG machines, one for each surgery £3192
A variety of Specialist Vaccine Fridges £1,068 & £946 & £1,407
4 x examination couches £2680
- Drop a note into either surgery addressed to ‘The Friends’
- We regularly post 100 Club draws on Facebook pages of the MSN & Chilcompton groups – you can respond to those
- If it is more urgent, please ask the surgery for the Chairman’s phone number