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A Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a joint venture between a PCN and its patient population.
Working in partnership with the PCN, a PPG can help to make services more user-friendly and improve patient experience. By identifying issues that are important to patients and by responding to any new initiatives, it can improve and influence the way in which services are planned and delivered, and increase patients’ confidence in the healthcare provided. A PPG can support the practice when it is faced with impositions from outside sources which may not have a beneficial impact on the practices or its patients.
What are the benefits of PPGs?
PPGs are about implementing real, positive change in their communities. Patients have long valued the relationship with their GP and general practice. However the dynamics of this relationship have changed over recent years – patients today rightly want more say in their own healthcare, they are better informed and expect to be treated as whole people, not just as a condition or ailment.
PPGs have an increasingly important role to play in helping to give patients a say in the way services are delivered to best meet their needs, and the needs of the local community.
PPGs can help GPs to develop an equal partnership with their patients. They can help them to communicate accurately and honestly with individual patients, and with the wider community about key health matters. They can also help to reduce costs and improve services by identifying changes that the practice may not have considered, allowing resources to be used more efficiently. What is more, they can develop mutually supportive networks for patients and the practice, outside of individual appointments.
In practice, PPGs can play a number of roles, including:
- Advising the PCN on the patient perspective
- Organising health promotion events
- Communicating with the wider patient body
- Running volunteer services and support groups to meet local needs
- Carrying out research into the views of those who use the practice (and their carers)
- Influencing the practice or the wider NHS to improve commissioning
Want to get involved?
Become a member of your GP practice's PPG. The Brompton Health PCN PPG is formed by the PPGs of member practices. We are still in the formative stages of the PCN PPG. This page will be updated with upcoming PPG events.