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A Day in the life of a Personal and Public Involvement Officer

Did you know the in the last 10 years the Patient and Client Council (PCC) has engaged and consulted with over 38,172 people in Northern Ireland to date. We have been listening and learning about your experiences in health and social care (HSC).

One of the most crucial methods of communication between the Patient and Client Council and the public is through our Personal and Public Involvement teams – who can be seen out and in the community speaking to everyone about the work the PCC does and the impact they can have on Health and Social Care.

We have PPI Officers placed regionally across all 5 Trust areas in Northern Ireland, and this week we spoke to our Western Officer, Sorcha Forbes to get a better idea as to what a day in the life of a PPI officer looks like.

Sorcha explained ‘We are the front facing staff, the ‘meeters and greeters’. Who go out and about to let people know about the functions of the Patient and Client Council.’

She went on to explain that the PPI team go to public places, be it shopping centres, leisure centres or even the odd agricultural fair to talk about the work that the Patient and Client Council do. Other key tasks in this role include, listening and capturing people’s views on all sorts of health and social care services. This includes having one to one interviews, leading focus groups, sitting on panels and regularly facilitating big discussions about issues that matter to people. She also ensures everyone knows about the PCC membership scheme – it’s free to join and is for anyone who wants to be keep up to date and get involved in local and regional HSC matters. Every day really is different.

For instance this week Sorcha was handing out questionnaires about pharmacy services. This is an important survey coming from the Health and Social Care board who want to hear from you about your experiences of pharmacy services. Could we give a bit more detail as to what this is actually asking rather than just repeat ‘pharmacy services

“The biggest perk is the people we meet,’ Sorcha says. ‘Reminding them that one voice can make a difference.’ Sorcha’s favourite saying to those who feel doubtful as to the impact they can make is: ‘It’s better to light one candle than sit in the dark.’

When telling people about the work the PCC do Sorcha found that some of the biggest concerns people had locally were around Autism services in the Western Trust and GP waiting times, and found that people were surprised to find that the issues they were concerned about were more universal than they thought.

Come and speak to us if you see us – we are very friendly and always happy to chat!

Or if you would like to find out who your local PPI officer is or learn about our membership scheme or invite the Patient and Client Council to your event please contact or call 028 95 360210.


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