About us

More on what we do

The PSSG is run by a committee ( our current committee can be found on the home page ) and supported by volunteers who organise our monthly get-together which generally includes an entertainment or presentation, tea and an opportunity to socialise and give each other mutual support. The committee also maintains contact with other voluntary organisations including the Norwich and District Carers Forum, Voluntary Norfolk and Age UK.
Use our links for more information about related web sites or go to the resources tab.

The PSSG is funded by donations, grants, our monthly raffle and regular craft and produce stalls. Everyone is encouraged to contribute in any way they can. Ideas for fund raising are always welcome.

The Treasures makes regular reports to the committee and the AGM is in July each year.

An evaluation sheet is distributed at each meeting so people can comment and offer suggestions and ideas for the future.

If you want details of future events go to the home page to download a copy of our poster, also available there is our latest news letter, photos and information of our committee. "see picture on home page"

So why not come to our next meeting? Everyone is very friendly and you will be sure of a warm welcome. We always have a good time .

You may be interested in reading more about us by going to the links below and in the resource pages

In 2000 the Chief Executive of South Norfolk Primary Care Group (SNPCG), requested more information about the Pulham Surgery Support Group (PSSG). He subsequently visited the group to talk to volunteers and users of the group about its many functions. Discussions took place about how the SNPCG could support the work being done and promote the idea of patient participation to other practices.

This was the beginning of three years of funding, paid to Pulham Surgery, aimed specifically at developing support for Carers in general practices throughout South Norfolk. We joined forces with the Health and Social Care Planning Officer SNPCT, and the Norwich & District Carers Forum, to find ways of improving the provision of care for carers.

The PSSG volunteers offered a wealth of knowledge and experience about caring for people at home and were able to highlight the practical difficulties frequently encountered. At the South Norfolk Workshop for Carers Organisations (March 22nd 2001) there was one single overriding message: “that GP’s and their staff should be better at sign-posting carers in need, to the resources that are available to them.”

We set about trying to initiate change in the following ways, some of these have changed as we have developed.

All GPs in the area were contacted and informed of the project.
Each practice was asked to submit the name of a Carers Lead who would receive and pass on carers’ information.
All known Carers Groups were contacted and asked to name a Group Representative through whom information could be distributed.
Mailing Lists of Carers Leads and Group Representatives were sent to all of them.
Group Representatives were encouraged to contact their practice Carers Leads.
A South Norfolk Primary Carers Support Groups booklet was collated describing the individual functions of each group and circulated to practices. It was later updated to include Breckland.
Meetings were held to identify and discuss carers needs and to devise a plan of action, which included working closely with other agencies.
At Pulham Surgery, we designed a Carers Questionnaire to enable carers to be identified and we piloted a Carers Register.
A proposed Standard of Care for Carers was written, accepted and adopted by all the staff at Pulham Surgery.
A Carers Information pack was compiled, produced and piloted in five practices, including Pulham.
These packs proved very popular and funding was found so they could be distributed to GP’s throughout Norfolk.
The PSSG recruited volunteers who were especially interested in carers issues, who supported the idea of regular Carers Clinics being held at the surgery.
The Clinics were agreed upon, advertised and launched, but it soon became clear that many carers were not able to get to the surgery easily and more could be done by telephone. Referral to the PSSG co-ordinator were offered routinely and volunteers maintained follow up if requested to do so.
The Carers Policy recommended annual health checks and flu vaccines for all carers.
PSSG volunteers linked up with other patient groups and helped prepare an Information Pack for Carers Groups.

PULHAM SURGERY CARERS PROJECT

So when we were asked: “What should we be doing for Carers?” – the answer was clearer:

Recognise them as carers and recognise the effect their commitment has on their lives.
Register them, so that relevant information may be passed on to them.
Provide Resources by ensuring they have received up to date information as to where to get help quickly.
Refer them to the appropriate agencies and offer them a Carers Assessment.
Review their progress, continue to recommend regular health checks and offer ongoing support.

This is what we evolved through the PSSG. We know the tremendous impact the group can have on the lives of carers and the people for whom they care. We also know that we are only touching the tip of the iceberg – many carers remain hidden, but the ripples we helped create turned into a huge tidal wave and became an inspiration to many others along the way.

We need to continue to share our knowledge and experience, to seek new solutions, pool our ideas, learn where there are resources available and direct them to where ever they can be most useful.

The Pulham Surgery Support Group would like to thank everyone who has worked with them on this project.

Lorna Pyke
Practice Sister 1980 – 2008

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers

In January 2006, Church Hill Surgery, Pulham Market, was awarded a Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Silver Prize in recognition of the work done to support carers. At the Pulham Surgery Support Group’s March meeting, a cheque for £1000 was presented. It was a great honour to have won this award which Dr Philip Leftley accepted on behalf of the whole of the surgery team, the PSSG and all the carers who used the surgery.

At that time, The Princess Royal Trust was the largest provider of carers support services in the UK. Through a network of centres including The Norwich & District Carers Forum, the trust provided quality information, advice and support to almost a quarter of a million carers.

The Care Aware Awards were judged by a panel of four – a GP, a carer, the Operations Manager from the Princess Royal Trust and a Primary Care Worker. Over 84 entries were received and the judges chose the winners on the basis of the practice-wide support offered to the carers.

The whole team at Church Hill Surgery were thrilled that the work of the PSSG had been appreciated. The PSSG was at that time in it’s twelfth successful year and the doctors and nurses at the surgery had seen a real improvement in how carers felt and coped with their caring responsibilities. Since it’s founding, the group has always worked hard to highlight the needs of carers, not just in Pulham Market but throughout Norfolk. The committee continues to encourage patient participation and involvement in care through a programme of monthly meetings, both educational and entertaining and the co-ordination of volunteers.

The prize money awarded by the PRTC was shared between the Pulham Surgery Support Group and Church Hill Surgery. The Support Group organised a summer party to celebrate the success and the Surgery put the money aside for training in carers issues for surgery and community staff.

Two years on, money from this award contributed to the setting up of the Pulham Surgery Support Group website. We soon became aware that communication is everything and so hope that it will enable us to have more contact and offer support to people who may be struggling to cope with the health of friends and family at home.

Lorna Pyke 2008

CARERS PROJECT (updated 2012)

With the passage of time and changes in staff, it may seem that much of the work done to raise awareness of the needs of our local carers has fallen by the wayside, but with the internet revolution and years of media promotion, the role of carers is now well recognised and help is widely available. Many voluntary groups offer information and ongoing support.

At the PSSG, we continue to work with the surgery and maintain our links with The Norwich & District Carers Forum, Voluntary Norfolk and other voluntary organisations in the area in order to be able to signpost people towards services currently available.

Our June meeting generally reflects National Carers Week and is run in conjunction with the Norwich & District Carers Forum who support the many Carers Groups in Norfolk.
We have been lucky enough to receive Small Grants for Carers Support Groups from Norfolk County Council for several years which have helped with the group’s running costs.

Moving with the times, we now have an easy to use website which has recently been relaunched and is regularly updated. It is full of information, photographs, useful links and news of forthcoming events, much of which can be printed off. (website address?)

We have made contact with the ten parish councils who cover the fourteen villages in the Church Hill Surgery catchment area, telling them about our website, inviting them to come along to our monthly meetings and asking them help us identify hidden carers by spreading the word within their communities. The response has been very positive.

Some of our volunteers belong to the Patient Participation Group which is run by an independent group of their patients. The GPs and their staff have attend in the past PSSG meetings when they can. An illustrated News Sheet is produced three or four times a year and is available online.

As more volunteers use the internet, we find them sharing information and picking up tips from each other. We see the huge potential this offers those of us in rural areas and plan to strengthen and extend the support network that is already developing. Please do contact us if you wish to become part of it.

The following links will give you more information about Support for Carers. Please tell us if you have others that have proved to be useful.