Who are we?
In 2014 we started a virtual patient participation group by offering, through the surgery website, the opportunity for patients to discuss, offer experience or request advice about general medical subjects. Unfortunately at this time we did not have many hits on the website and although a small number of patients participated or responded to questions raised by the surgery manager and staff it did not appear to assist help find ways to develop the work of the practice. In 2015 we developed a meeting group from an appeal placed in the newsletter and on the web. We now meet about four to five times a year and through this initial period we have used the time to observe, what we feel are the requirements of patients, to advise and help the practice develop their services for the community. We agreed a terms of reference printed on the next page and are producing a constitution to enable a development plan to be inaugurated and maintained.
We currently have 16 members :- Paul Ashby (practice manager), Dr Bennett GP, Roy Connell, Rodney Dykes, Paul Ellis, Roger Exley, Helen Graham, Roger Grand, Barbara Jones, John Ledwich, Ken Lowe, Gill Mayren (minutes secretary), Eddie Thompson, Ian Watson, Jean Washbourne and David Waugh (chairperson).
A number of the members have participated in community and medical group/organisations to enable us to liaise with current thinking and initiatives in the NHS and allow us to gain access to putting forward the needs of our surgery in their planning. The group is also a member of a National organisation of Patient Participation Groups (NAPP), who undertake a valuable role in providing information about national initiatives and their objectives are shown below.
- Encourage patients to take responsibility for their own health and that of their family.
- Support the development of forums in the community for patients, carers and health staff that have benefits for all.
- Encourage Groups to network with each other locally, regionally and nationally to share learning.
- Recognise the need to address the serious health inequalities that persist across the United Kingdom and to be proactive in listening to the voices of those who are seldom heard.
- Contribute to national policy debates to ensure that patients have opportunities to make themselves heard.
- Establish the principle that the patient perspective should be crucial evidence in any commissioning decisions that are taken locally, regionally and nationally.
As we progress it is important that we hear from patients about any specific requirements that could assist the service of the surgery in general terms and the role of the Patient Participation Group (PPG). We hope to initiate a discussion forum on this website to accommodate a flow of ideas and information between the patient body to build a valuable resource to assist taking responsibility for our own health, to assist carers and the staff of the practice.
We have produced terms of reference –
- Provide feedback on patients’ needs, concerns and interests and challenges the practice constructively when necessary.
- Promote good health by arranging /supporting health awareness events at the Practice.
- Communicate information about the community which may affect healthcare to the PPG and wider practice population.
- Give patients a voice in the organisation of the care the Practice provides to patients.
- Ensure a representative attends bi-monthly CCG Governing Body meeting in public where possible to represent the views of the PPG and practice patients and feed back to the PPG.
- Communicate relevant information regarding the PPG to the wider GP practice population.
- Give feedback to NHS trusts on consultations.
- Network with other PPGs in the area to help identify and introduce good ideas.