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How Effective Is Your PPG?
This week we continued with our campaign to set up a Patient Participation Group (PPG). I know that many practices have had a PPG for years but our practice hasn’t had a patient group before and, now that it’s a contractual requirement to have a PPG by March 2016, we’re putting the wheels in motion to get this up and running as soon as possible. We’ve also had some support from our local Healthwatch team and local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who are both keen to help us set up the group.
Starting from scratch
Some practices, who have had a PPG for a while, may have found patient members have dwindled, the same topics keep coming up for discussion or their group may lack impetus. Setting up a new group enables us to learn from other PPGs and, by following the basic steps it may invigorate existing groups and improve the incentive to be a part of it. We need patients to understand what PPG stands for, what role the group has in helping patients and, when it’s fully set up, know how they contact the PPG. If patients want the best services from our practice they will need to understand what role this group has in helping this to happen. We have information leaflets in reception, information on our website and also on our patient information screen in the waiting room.
Aims of a good PPG
It’s important to inform and remind patients that the people involved in a PPG are a group of patients registered with your practice who have no medical training but have an interest in the services provided. They work in partnership with the practice to ensure that there is a good relationship between patients, GPS and other professional staff. The aim of a PPG is to represent patients’ views, support diversity and to work in partnership with the surgery or medical centre to improve common understanding; help patients to take more responsibility for their health; contribute to improvements of services and quality of care and work towards better and improved communications.
Invigorate your PPG
Encourage patients to contact you to share their thoughts or perhaps even get involved. Contact your local Healthwatch team to find out if they can assist you with any promotional information. Patients can find out more information about PPGs by visiting the National Association for Patient Participation website.
Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor