What is a Patient Participation Group (PPG)?
A PPG is a group of patients registered with a GP surgery who have no medical training but have an interest in the services provided.
What is the aim of a PPG?
The aim of the PPG is to represent patients' views and cross barriers, embracing diversity and to work in partnership with the surgery to improve common understanding. PPGs are making a real difference across the UK.
What is the purpose of a PPG?
- To give practice staff and patients the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest in their practice.
- To raise certain issues and opinions from the point of view of the service user.
- To offer an open and confidential space for all patient’s to voice their concerns
- To offer an open and confidential space for all patient’s to listen to what other patients have to say about health services which are important to them.
- To encourage health education activities within the practice.
- To develop self-help projects or strategic projects to meet the needs of fellow patients, such as befriending, help with transport and bereavement support.
- To help patients understand the current challenges faced in general practice.
- To act as a representative group that can be called upon to influence the local provision of health and social care.
Positive patient experience has been associated with: better outcomes and recovery rates. And better patient safety and clinical effectiveness. Services are better designed around the needs of patients, service users and carers when they are involved in the commissioning process.
“We are a group of patients who give our time to help the practice in any way we can. We liaise with the clinicians, taking information backwards and forwards between the patients and staff.
We help with surveys, both formulating questions and assisting people to fill them in. At the moment the practice is instituting" self-check in", and members of the PPG will be on hand to assist anyone who is unsure of the procedure.
We also assist at the open flu clinics and organise and run a raffle at these clinics to raise funds. We also run a book stall with honesty box as a fund raiser. Any funds we raise are donated to the surgery for the purchase of equipment.
We meet every two months to discuss any changes within the service generally or the practice specifically. At all these meetings we have a member of the practice staff on hand to give and receive information.”
Gosberton Medical Centre, PPG
“PPGs provide a useful communication link for surgeries so look to the surgery to support you -- meeting rooms, office help etc. The one person in the surgery you need to work with is the practice manager! Invite them to attend your meeting and give a 'practice update' item on your agenda. When complaints are brought up, try to find the underlying procedural problem to 'de-personalise' it, others may be having the same trouble!”
David Baxter, Chair of Stamford Sheepmarket Surgery PPG
“Make sure members don’t raise individual issues, unless it has a direct bearing on improving services for all and have a time plan, even if it’s only in your head, in order to get through all the business in time.”
Tim Barzycki, Chair of Beechfield Medical Centre PPG - Spalding