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Patient participation groups

 

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What is a Patient Participation Group?

A Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a group of patients who are interested in health and healthcare issues and who want to get involved with and support the running of their local GP practice.  Such activities involved could include rolling out a flu campaign during winter, providing feedback on how the practice is run, and providing feedback on service providers (after being referred by your doctor). 

Most groups include members of practice staff, and meet at regular intervals to discuss how to make a positive contribution to the services and facilities offered by the practice to its patients.

How do I join my practice's PPG?

If you would like to get involved, ask at your GP practice reception to see if your practice has a group. You can also find out more from the National Association for Patient Participation: www.napp.org.uk

Links to your GP practice website can be found here

Connecting local PPGs 

Healthwatch Central West London have been commissioned to support Westminster GP Practice PPGs. They do this by raising awareness of PPGs, offering tailored support to individual practices and creating a network to help connect these different groups together, so that they can share best practice, brainstorm common problems and increase recruitment. 

The first PPG celebration event was held on 12 June 2019, as part of the annual national Patient Participation Week, to celebrate the hard work and ahcievements of GP practice PPGs across the borough. Over 35 attendees attended, and feedback was positive. Achievements from local PPGs were shared at the event, and included:

  • ‘Involving the diverse community in understanding the services available’
  • ‘I am proud of our talks on medical subjects such as dementia, pain management etc’
  • ‘Getting our new premises when our surgery was sold’
  • ‘Ensuring that we always have at least one female GP on the staff’
  • ‘Organising a photoboard in reception so patients know who is who’
  • ‘Sitting on appointment panels to help staff chose caring and effective people’

Healthwatch are now in the process of setting up a PPG network, which met for the first time on 17 October 2019. This meeting focused on theprocess involved when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspect a local GP practice. The presenter shared information on how the CQC evaluates GP practices, where the PPG is involved in the process, and how a PPG can support the practice to receive a good rating. 

The key learnings included:

  • PPGs are a part of every CQC inspection—the CQC  inspector will ask to speak to the PPG Chair or a PPG member.
  • Inspectors will look at the minutes and agendas of PPG meetings to identify if there are actions plans and if these plans are fulfilled.
  • Inspectors will look for evidence that the PPG is working with the surgery, rather than for the surgery.
  • GP surgeries should be publishing their Inspection Reports on their websites.

PPGs can improve CQC ratings by:

  • Asking questions about how the surgery is addressing issues raised by the CQC.
  • Look at the results of the GP survey and ask questions about how any issues are being addressed  https://www.gp-patient.co.uk/  and be sure to follow up on any responses given at subsequent meetings.
  • Finding out the demographics of the practice patient population and any key issues relevant to that population, and questioning how the surgery addresses those issues.  Follow up on what has been outlined at subsequent meetings.
  • Supporting the surgery with improving care for key target groups, eg, arrange a health education event to support better diabetes management.
  • Engaging with organisations representing marginalised groups to understand where issues might be for members of that specific community and how they might be addressed.

For more information about the PPG work that Healthwatch Central West London are leading on, please contact jill.prawer@healthwatchcentralwestlondon.org

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