What is a Patient Participation Group (PPG)?
Since 2016 all GP Practices have been required to have a PPG as part of their contract with the NHS. The PPG is an independent group of patients, whose role is to represent the “Patient Voice” to the Practice. The PPG provides the Practice with its views on matters relevant to the practice, including local health provision. PPGs are sometimes referred to as Patient Reference Groups (PRGs) if they meet virtually only – but they work in exactly the same way as PPGs.
How is the PPG organised and run?
There is no single model of PPG. Some PPGs choose to regard all the patients of the Practice as members. Others require interested patients to register as members. In both models, there will usually be a small committee to run the affairs of the PPG. All patients [over the age of sixteen] are welcome to attend meetings, which may be held face-to-face or virtually via video conference.
What is the role of the PPG in practice?
The PPG acts towards the Practice as a “critical friend”. It may use information from patient surveys to provide the Practice with feedback on the patients’ experience and patients’ views of proposed changes in the service provided. Some PPGs provide practical support where appropriate (for instance acting as marshals at mass vaccination events). The PPG will facilitate health education among the Practice’s patients. They may be invited to take part in Commissioning decisions. The overall aim is to foster clear and honest two-way communication between the Practice and its patients for the mutual benefit of all.
What are the benefits for the patient?
Involvement with the Practice staff will give PPG members a better understanding of key health issues and constraints and this knowledge can be disseminated to all patients (for example in regular newsletters.) The PPG will work with the Practice for the benefit of all patients.
What are the benefits for the Practice?
GPs and their staff will be able to take patients’ views into account when planning services. Practice staff, including GPs, will receive clear messages on how treatment and other services are viewed by patients. This will help Practices in meeting targets and objectives. They will get even closer to the community for whom they care.
Minutes of previous meetings, dates for forthcoming meetings and agendas can be available here, as well as other documents such as newsletters, surveys and survey results. The constitution of the group, its aims and objectives can also be included. For clarity these should be accessed via drop-down menus.