About the Patient Participation Group
Why should I attend my GP Practice Patient Participation Group?
Attending your GP Patient Participation Groups means you can work with your GP and Practice Manager to deal with issues that affect you, other local people and your GP surgery.
Your local group is based in your GP practice and meets three to four times a year to discuss issues and concerns that affect people using the surgery. The group will prepare agendas and activities reflecting local needs and concerns.
Purpose of a PPG
- To give practice staff and patients the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest in their own practice.
- A forum for patients and staff to improve and develop services within the practice by co-production.
- To provide an opportunity for patients to make positive and constructive suggestions/ideas about the practice and specific medical conditions as an 'expert' or 'experienced patient'.
- To encourage health education activities within the practice.
- To involve further patients from the wider population.
- To involve patient participation in future commissioning of Health Provision.
Benefits for the patient:
- Patients will be more responsible for their own health.
- Patients will have a better understanding and knowledge of the practice and its staff.
This allows up to date information to be given to patients and will inform what decisions can be influenced and what cannot. It will also allow the practice staff to gain an understanding from the patient’s perspective. It may also be useful for the chair to have meetings with the Practice Manager on a regular basis or attend management meetings of the practice. This ensures that two way communications are achieved.
- Patients will have a forum to suggest positive ideas and voice concerns
- Patients will benefit from improved communications between patients and staff
Benefits for the practice:
- GPs and their staff will be able to plan services jointly with patients in order to increase their effectiveness.
- They will be able to get help from patients in meeting targets and objectives.
- They will have a forum to voice concerns, ideas and suggestions to patients.
- They will get closer to the community for whom they care.
A common criticism of many PPGs is that they are not representative of the practice population. It is always going to be difficult to get a group that exactly reflects the demographics of our practice, and volunteer roles tend to attract those that have a certain level of confidence and free time, and have flexibility about working and earning money. However, a PPG is there to make sure that the patient voice is listened to and not necessarily always to be the voice itself. Therefore if you wish to volunteer please contact the General Manager of complete one of the forms in reception.
- This meeting is not a forum for individual complaints and single issues as there will be other procedures for supporting patients with these concerns.
- We advocate open and honest communication and discussions between individuals.
- We will be flexible, listen, ask for help and support each other.
- We will demonstrate a commitment to delivering results, as a Group.
- Silence indicates agreement – speak up, but always go through the chair.
- All views are valid and will be listened to - respect other’s views and don’t interrupt.
- No phones or other disruptions.
- We will start and finish on time and stick to the agenda.
- The Practice will listen constructively to patients’ views and proposals and will respond explaining what action the practice will take. If no action can be taken the Practice will explain why not.
- Patients take some responsibilities within the group.
- All communications issued by the PPG will first be agreed by the Group – no communications about the group will be issued by individual members.
- The Chair/facilitator will keep the meeting focussed.
- Brief notes (not detailed minutes) will be made recording key actions and decisions only. Notes will be available in the public domain and will not include confidential matters.
- All PPG members will work together and support each other to meet the objectives of the group.
- Confidential matters and discussions are not to be shared outside the meeting.
These are important as a point of reference for behaviour for when the group meets, and were agreed at the first couple of meetings. We agreed that the group should not be a forum for pursuing individual personal complaints or agendas, that patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance and that everyone on the PPG should be treated fairly, equally and with respect.
We aim to make the group as transparent as possible. We will publish minutes of every meeting on this website. At the members’ request their names have been removed and replaced with their initials but other than that the minutes are a true and accurate reflection of what was discussed and agreed.
We are striving to have a mix of the following people:
- Active volunteers: People with time and commitments to action decisions
- Interested professionals: The doctors and administrative staff who work within and know the system and can be co-opted onto the group as required
- Key supporters: People with influence within your locality, e.g. local councillors, community workers or business people who help raise the profile of the group, and improve the chances of your group finding financial or other forms of support
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