DUDLEY Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has pledged £50,000 of funding throughout the next two years to each of the borough’s Patient Participation Groups (PPG).

Through the PPG Purse Grant Programme, a budget of up to £1,000 has been made available to help support the growth and development of local patient groups.

The money can be used to recruit new members, encourage patient participation, expand communication channels and set up new initiatives to help improve the delivery of health services locally.

A number of PPGs, which are patient-led groups linked to local GP practices, have already been exploring ideas about the best way to spend their money, such as hosting health events and open days.

One of the first PPGs to hold an event is Three Villages Medical Practice, with bases in both Wollaston and Amblecote, which is hosting a tea party to encourage patients to join in and get in touch with patients who are socially isolated.

This is followed by The Ridgeway Surgery, in Sedgley, which is planning a health event for patients in June.

Cicely Thomas, chairman of The Ridgeway Surgery PPG, said: “We are so pleased that the CCG has made funding available.

“We are really excited at the opportunity to make a difference to our local community and encourage more people to join our PPG and have a voice.”

To ensure the money is ring-fenced, Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) will be holding the funds and administering the programme throughout the two year period.

For more information about the PPG Purse Grant Programme call Helen Codd on 01384 321719, or Kate Green, of Dudley CVS, on 01384 573381.