How one Patient Participation Group (PPG) has successfully increased its membership
Barry Lynch, chairman of the Haddenham Medical Centre’s PPG, told us how they had successfully increased the Group’s membership. He said:
We felt that one of the most important functions of a PPG is to communicate news, information and details of health events to as many patients as possible. The patient list is not available to PPGs for confidentiality reasons, so we had to find other ways of signing up members.
So how did they do it?
1. Making things easier
We set up a database at a Web Hosting company so was a very simple and easy way for patients to join the PPG. We only asked for minimal information such as name, email address and telephone number.
2. Using modern technology
The practice used their SMS Text service to send a message inviting patients to join the PPG. It included a link to a mobile friendly online application form.
3. Streamlining the process
The online application form automatically sends a mail to the patient confirming that they have joined the PPG. It sends another mail to the PPG confirming details of the registration which is then added to the mailing list.
4. Making people feel welcome
We have also prepared a PPG information pack which is handed to new patients when they join the practice with an invitation to join the PPG.
5. Face-to-face engagement
We are visiting meetings of local organisations such as the University of the Third Age (U3A). We’re telling them about the work of the PPG and inviting members who are patients to sign up for PPG membership.
6. Next steps
After we have exhausted the low/no cost options we will considering advertising in local publications and mail shots from the practice inviting patients to join the PPG.