Dame Meg Hillier, the Member of Parliament for Hackney South and Shoreditch, visited the Greenhouse Practice on 17 March 2023, to see the incredible work that the practice was doing to support the local community. She was welcomed warmly by the staff and members of the Patient Participation Group (PPG).
During her visit, the PPG representatives raised some concerns about the healthcare system but were quick to express their appreciation for the work that the practice was doing. Dame Meg Hillier's visit provided an opportunity for discussion and collaborative work. The staff felt that the visit and the chance to directly hear from the patients was inspiring and highlighted the importance of their contribution. This experience motivated the practice to continue providing compassionate care to the local community.
"It was a breath of fresh air for the Greenhouse Practice", said Sultan Ahmed, Practice Manager at Greenhouse, "as it was inspiring to hear positive feedback from both the patients and the MP."
Dame Meg listened to the PPG representatives' thoughts and concerns and was keen to know more about what she could do to help. Clear directions of action that the patients at the Greenhouse could take emerged in the conversation and were provided. For example, attending job fairs, looking into housing options, participating in community workshops, and getting involved in community projects.
As the meeting continued, some of the patients from the PPG shared their personal stories of hardship and struggle. Dame Meg was deeply moved by their stories and asked the PPG representatives to work with her to highlight the issues that they faced.
Martin The Poet, one of the PPG representatives said, "It was productive to speak to the MP and the senior management of the Practice to highlight both the things that the Greenhouse Practice does very well, supporting its service users with much compassion and humanity. It was an opportunity to talk to people that may have the ability to make sure some of the services are better conceived, coordinated, monitored and run. This would give benefit to some of the most desperate people in society, such as asylum seekers, homeless, those with complex needs, and mental health issues."
Overall, the meeting was very positive. Liam, one of the patients, remarked that it was refreshing to have a face-to-face conversation. He felt that Dame Meg's visit had given him and the other patients a voice and a sense of hope for the future.
Dame Meg, who nominated Greenhouse Practice for the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Award and personally presented them with the Award, left the Greenhouse feeling inspired and motivated to make a difference, heartened by the passion and dedication of the staff and patients, and vowed to continue supporting their efforts to improve the lives of those in the community.
"This day highlights the importance of community-based healthcare and the need for compassion and humanity in the healthcare system. It is a reminder that small acts of kindness and support can make a huge difference in the lives of those who are struggling," said Dr Mohit Venkataram, ELFT Executive Director of Primary Care.