Patient Participation Groups: Patient Participation Groups tend to be set up by Practices but, over time, they are usually run by patients. ... The PPG should work closely with the Practice and it is normal for members of the Practice Team, including General Practitioners to be part of the Patient Participation Group.
The PPG group are patients who have an interest in health and social care issues and who want to get involved in decisions about the range and quality of services provided and over time, commissioned by their practice.
PPGs are groups of active volunteer patients that work in partnership with practice staff and GPs – this unique partnership between patients and their practices is essential to achieving high quality and responsive care.
Groups either meet face-to-face with practice staff at mutually agreed intervals or 'Virtual PPGs', which operate alongside ‘real’ groups, facilitating dialogue with the whole patient population through email networks, online surveys and social media.
PPGs can bring significant benefits to the practices: reducing costs, improving services, allowing resources to be used more efficiently and, most importantly, developing mutually supportive networks outside the GP or nurse appointment. Groups help the practice by enabling GP teams to be proactive in providing services that truly reflect what patients want and need.
What we would like from our PPGs is to aim to benefit wider patient care within a practice – for example, by arranging transport for older or disabled patients, or by running self-help and wellbeing activities, such as weight management sessions, Cardiology, walking groups, book clubs, tea afternoons for the lonely vulnerable patients, educational evenings etc.
Patients are encouraged and supported by PPGs to take more responsibility for their own health by increasing health literacy, raising awareness of lifestyle options and promoting self-care, particularly for minor everyday illnesses. PPGs become active advocates for the practice and the services provided – practices that have a PPG are increasingly being viewed by patients as an indicator of them being a high-quality caring practice and becoming a differentiator for patients between practices in their area.