Last year we launched a new project supporting Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) of GP practices located in the area covered by Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group.

All GP practices in England are, from April 2016, expected to have in place a Patient Participation Group as part of meeting the GP contract.

Download our free PPG resources

In our first year we engaged with 24 PPGs. We supported them with how to increase membership and work with their practice. We also provided them with access to specialist resources to help them run their PPGs.

In our second year of delivery we will continue to support individual PPGs. We will also be focusing on establishing a PPG network.

What do Patient Participation Groups do?

All PPGs are individual and the work that they do may vary. In general PPGs:

  • gather feedback from individual patients about GPs, primary care services and their practice
  • focus on improving the quality of general practice and primary care localised to their practice
  • undertake activities on behalf of the practice. For example, conducting surveys, assisting with flu campaigns, running practice health awareness events

All patients can take part in Patient Participation Groups. If you would like to become involved talk to your  local GP practice to find out more.

Already involved in your PPG?

Take a look at our free resources designed to support and empower PPGs. If you are a member of a PPG within Buckinghamshire and you would like support or advice then we can help, simply contact us for more details.

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2 comments on "Patient Participation Group Project Update"

  • Healthwatch Bucks replied on 9th January 2017

    PPGs will only work to improve services if their influence leads to changes. Feedback from practice to patients(and PPG) is essential as to why recommendations are either acted on or not acted on.

    Patients will not continue to participate if their views & opinions are ignored.

    There are those who are happy to raise funds, hold tea parties & coffee mornings but many of us are trying to improve services for patients & wider community. This needs a strategic approach involving an deeper understanding of the local health economy & the way the money flows (or doesn’t) from NHS England to the practices.

    It is important to establish the purpose of the PPG.

  • Healthwatch Bucks replied on 9th January 2017

    The CCG tried to establish a PPG network but it did not work. There is a website where the chairman of the PPG can post messages and discuss issues.

    Very few did so. It did not work.

    Why? Perhaps because PPGs are really only interested in their own practice not the wider community. This is understandable. Perhaps it is because, deep down, they know that there is little they can do to improve services. They do not have the leverage or clout to influence decisions or funding. PPGs tend not to be representative of the practice population.

    In reality there is little ‘participation’ for patient participation groups!!!!

    The issues in primary care are well known. Difficulty in retaining staff at all leveles. Difficulty in recruiting staff at all levels, Shortage of appointments, lack of continuity of care, no investment in facilities & buildings fit for 21st century healthcare, no long term planning to cope with population growth in Bucks.

    These are national issues and need national solutions.

    So maybe we should all go back to fundraising & holding coffee mornings.

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