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 PPG is unique, evolving to meet local needs. Most commonly, they work with their practices to offer the patient perspective on the services that are provided. PPGs also help to improve communication, encourage patients to take more responsibility for their own health and to provide practical support.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org