Be heard

Ensuring that patients have a voice and a say in how we plan and buy healthcare services is very important to us.

Every GP practice has a Patient Participation Group (PPG) which patients can join to not only influence their practice and to hear and feedback about the work of the CCG. Patient participation groups are valuable in our patient community in helping us meet the needs of our local people. Why not get involved with yours?

PPG in focus

Joyce Watts, a retired school teacher, joined her PPG at The Oaks, Swanley in February 2016. Joyce is one of ten volunteer members in the group which has been active for six years.

Joyce is particularly interested in making sure all communications are in plain English and easily understandable.

The PPG publishes a newsletter three times per year and see themselves as the link between patients and clinicians; taking ideas, concerns or suggestions to the practice manager and partners. As a result of this, the waiting area has been refurbished and the process for booking appointments has been improved.

The PPG has helped the local GP team to gather feedback about various aspects of practice services. The group held a patient information event about active ageing which was supported by local businesses and healthcare organisations and very well attended by over 70 residents. The event included eight talks on subjects such as self-care, physical activity and citizen’s advice.

Joyce says: “My advice to anyone who is unsure about joining their PPG, is to get in touch with their practice. PPG groups need volunteers with all sorts of skills and experience, of different ages and backgrounds, but enthusiasm and dedication are the most important qualities to have. If you enjoy making a real difference to health in your community, PPGs are a great place to start.”

Find out more about how to get involved in health and care in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.