Most GP Practices have now established, or are in the process of setting up their Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) – a selection of patients and practice staff who meet at regular intervals to decide ways of making a positive contribution to the services and facilities offered by the practice.
Every Patient Participation Group (PPG) is unique, evolving to meet the needs of their practice. Typically, PPGs work with their practices to offer a patient perspective on GP services, improve communication with patients and provide practical support. Following feedback from PPGS around learning from each other, we invited Patient Participation Groups and Practice Managers from West Kent, Medway, Swale, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley to a joint networking and feedback event in September 2019.
What is a Patient Participation Group?
PPGs work by building a relationship between the practice and its patients, breaking down barriers, sharing information and creating a greater sense of cooperation and shared responsibility.
This is intended to:
- contribute to continuous improvement of services
- foster improved communication between the practice and its patients
- help patients to take more responsibility for their health
- provide practical support and help to implement change.
- How does it benefit the patient?
PPGs enable the patient to:
- gain greater understanding and knowledge of the practice and its staff
- benefit from improved communications with the practice
- have a forum to suggest positive ideas and voice concerns
- become involved in and take responsibility for their own health
- support others through non-medical support.
How does it benefit GPs and their practices?
GPs and practice can:
- plan local services jointly with patients in order to increase their effectiveness
- hear the issues which are most important to their patient population
- have a forum to voice concerns, ideas and suggestions to patients
- get closer to the community for whom they care.
The above is adapted from a guide published by NAPP (National Association of Patient Participation)
If you are thinking about starting your own PPG, or feel yours needs development, we have come up with a guide to help you to do just that. It’s accompanied by a toolkit that we hope will support you to create the PPG that is just right for your surgery.
Please find our full guide here with attached toolkit items below.
You can also access similar guidance on the Healthwatch website.
More supporting materials can be found on the NAPP website.
To join our Patient Participation Group, please contact email@example.com
PPG Chair Meeting September 2019
Patient Participation Group Network Event
Following feedback from Patient Participation Groups around learning from each other, in September 2019 Patient Participation Groups and Practice Managers from West Kent, Medway, Swale, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley were invited to a joint networking and feedback event.
The event provided opportunities to learn from other PPGs and practices and from national and local organisations including the Care Quality Commission. Delegates also heard about changes to the NHS and fed back on how patients should be involved in the emerging Primary Care Networks.
120 PPG chairs and practice managers attended from across the area together with lead GPs and clinicians who took part in the discussions and listened to people’s views.
See below for a report from the conference: