What is a
Patient Participation Group?

Patient Participation Groups (PPG) within General Practices are not new. The first PPG was set up on the 30 November 1972 at The Health Centre, Berinsfield near Oxford. At present it is estimated that at least 41 per cent of General Practices in England and Wales have a PPG. At least 600 of them are members of the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP), a registered charity in England and Wales since 1978 which is the umbrella organisation for Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) within the Primary Care setting.

Despite their development, Patient Participation Groups are still not very well-known and most people do not know what they do. This brief guide explains how PPGs work and what their role and function may be. It is important to note that there is no single or definitive model for a Patient Participation Group. Each group is different. This is considered to be a good thing, in that it means that each group can evolve and develop according to the wishes of the patients in each Practice - the Practice Population.

Patient Participation Groups

Patient Participation Groups tend to be set up by Practices but, over time, they are usually run by patients. Typically they will have a committee that meets regularly to give the PPG some leadership and a sense of direction. The PPG should work closely with the Practice and it is normal for members of the Practice Team, including General Practitioners to be part of the Patient Participation Group.

Patient Participation Groups are not set up to be a ‘forum for moaners’ but nor are they ‘doctor fan clubs’. They are a route for patients to advise and inform the Practice on what matters most to patients and to help identify solutions to problems. Members of PPGs should think about the wider patient interest and not just their own personal concerns when serving on the PPG.

Every PPG should be clear about what it is there to do and hopes to achieve. It should have well-thought out core objectives so that if someone asks what the Group does, there is a clear answer. These goals and aspirations need to be realistic and achievable because the PPG is run by volunteers. In most instances, the Patient Partnership Group will work in partnership with the Practice and significant other partners and, in that way, it can achieve a great deal more.

Your Local PPG’s

The Hinckley and Bosworth Federation Area has 13 Practices of which most have an active PPG working with the Doctors and other Health Professionals to serve the Patients in the Practice. They meet on a regular basis and are always looking for new members to help with their work.

The Hinckley & Bosworth Locality Group is made up of representatives from each PPG and they also meet regularly to discuss issues which affect all of the Practices in the area. This group then makes representation to the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) who make decisions about health care in West Leicestershire. With a collective voice its felt that issues raised are more likely to be listened to and acted upon. In the past the Locality Group has worked with the CCG to improve communication with patients as health care plans are being developed in the area. The Group has also worked hard to improve the profile of PPG’s and encourage people to get involved.

If you feel you would like to find out more about PPG’s and possibly get involved in your own surgery PPG then please contact your Receptionist at your surgery or call

Roy Priestley email: roy_priestley@btinternet.com or 07789506308

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