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Please contact the surgery if you would like to be a member

of our PPG

What are Patients Participation Groups and why are they needed?

Most GP practices now have a Patient Participation Group (PPG) or are in the process of setting one up. From 1 April 2015, it is a requirement in the GP Contract for all practices to have a PPG. The funding associated with an Enhanced Service for patient participation ends and this will be part of the main contract. The role of the PPG includes: • being a critical friend to the practice; • advising the practice on the patient perspective and providing insight into the responsiveness and quality of services; • encouraging patients to take greater responsibility for their own and their family’s health; • carrying out research into the views of those who use the practice; • organising health promotion events and improving health literacy; • regular communication with the patient population.

Who is part of the Patient Participation Group?

The Patient Participation Group should be developed in the most appropriate way to ensure regular engagement with a representative sample of the practice population, and it should have a structure that allows it to reach the broadest cross section of the patient population. This should include the involvement of carers of registered patients, who themselves may not be registered patients of the practice. Practice engagement with the Patient Participation Group will need to include obtaining patient feedback and, where the practice and Patient Participation Group agree, acting on suggestions for improvement. Practices should demonstrate they have made an effort to engage with any underrepresented and seldom heard groups, including patients with mental health conditions or groups with protected characteristics as identified in the Equality Act 2010.

Reviewing patient and carer feedback Practices should aim to be regularly reviewing feedback with their Patient Participation Group and wider registered population to consider areas for improvement. Suggested sources of feedback to review include: • patients and carer priorities and issues; • themes from complaints and suggestions; • planned practice changes; • bespoke survey; • Care Quality Commission (CQC) related issues; • the GP patient survey; • the Friends and Family Test; • working with local commissioners (Clinical Commissioning Groups/NHS England/Local Authority); • views from local voluntary and community groups, including local Healthwatch.

How should the Patient Participation Group be structured?

There are no prescriptive requirements on how to run a Patient Participation Group, and in the GP Contract 2015/16, all reporting requirements have been removed. Practices will only be required to confirm through the e-declaration that they have fulfilled the requirements. The Patient Participation Group may be a virtual or a face-to-face group, or a combination of the two. For some groups it may be helpful to separate out a smaller “Organising Committee” from a larger “face to face” group and a “virtual group”. There is a need for a Constitution/Terms of Reference, with a Chair and Secretary appointed plus other members. In addition, practices may wish to hold public information or condition support meetings as well as an Annual General Meeting.

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