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Speak to your practice if you would like more information on how to get involved in Public Participation Groups or you can also contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / call 01768 245 486.
From 1 April 2015, it is a requirement for all GP Practices in England to form a Patient Participation Group (PPG) and to make reasonable efforts for this to be representative of the practice population.
PPGs are groups of active volunteer patients working in partnership with Practice staff and GPs, who meet at regular intervals to discuss a variety of issues effecting patients and the Practice.
‘Virtual PPGs’ also exist enabling a dialogue with the whole patient population through email, online surveys and social media. Some practices have both, the ‘Virtual Group’ enabling the main group to gather the views and feedback from the wider practice population and giving those who can’t attend regular meetings an opportunity to be involved.
PPGs work in a unique partnership with their Practice built on mutual trust and respect to:
- Act as ‘critical friend’ to provide a patients’ perspective ensuring services, plans and activities respond to patients’ needs and priorities.
- Foster communication with the wider patient population building stronger patient – doctor relationships
- Provide practical support to practice teams e.g. conducting and analysing patient surveys, organising health awareness events.
- Encourage those with long term and/ or multiple health conditions to gain confidence in managing and taking control of their health and care.
- Help other patients take more responsibility for their health and make informed decisions
Each group determines its own activities according to the needs of the community and the practice itself and works by building a relationship between the practice and its patients that breaks down barriers and shares information
PPGs are not:
- A forum for complaints - clear ground rules should be established to ensure members do not use the group as a vehicle for their personal issues.
- A doctor’s fan club
- A time consuming activity for practice staff
The National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P) is a UK wide umbrella body for patient-led groups in general practice. A registered charity with over 30 years’ experience of promoting and supporting PPGs. Go to www.napp.org.uk to find out more or check out your own GP Practice website.