​Patient participation groups​

You can have your say by joining the Patient Participation Group (PPG) at your local GP practice.  PPGs allow interested patients to be actively involved in the running of their GP practice.

If you are interested in being involved in your local PPG, please contact your local GP practice directly.

Go to the National Association of Patient Participation website for useful information on participation. 

  • Read about Patient Participation Week 2017 here.
  • Read about Patient Participation Week 2016 here.

Anne Milstead, Croydon PPG Network Coordinator, talking about the Croydon PPG Network 

Want to get involved?

If you want to get more involved in your practice's PPG ask the practice staff about the next meeting or visit your practice website.

The Croydon Patient Participation Group Network promotes and supports the work of Croydon PPGs.

Please contact the Croydon PPG network co-ordinator for more details anne@croydonppgnetworkmail.com

​Want to know more about getting involved with NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group?

If you want to get involved with CCG more directly, you can find out about the opportunities through calling 0203 668 1384 or emailing getinvolved@croydonccg.nhs.uk

You can find an application form and more information here.

BBP - Building Better Participation

The National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P.) has launched a new resource guide to help all GP practice Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) work effectively.

NHS England commissioned N.A.P.P. – the national voice for patient participation in primary care – to develop Building better participation, and it is available for download below. A hard copy will be sent to every N.A.P.P. member PPG.

N.A.P.P. President and Chairman, Dr Patricia Wilkie, said "We are delighted to have been able to work with NHS England to produce this guide. Now that all GP practices must have a PPG, this guide will help every PPG and practice be even more effective in working together for the benefit of patients."

Designed to be of use to all PPGs, whether long-standing or recently formed, whether large or very small, whether in a single practice or as part of a federation of practices, Building better participation was developed and "road tested" with the involvement of over 50 PPG members and Practice Managers. It will help PPGs and their practice to reflect on what they do, how they work, and how they might become even more effective.

Building better participation is a framework of four inter-linking Areas:

  • Getting PPGs in place
  • Helping PPGs work well
  • Knowing and working with patients
  • Influencing beyond the GP practice

Within each Area there are a set of Goals to help the PPG and its practice focus on particular pieces of activity. And each Area is supported by a wide-ranging set of web-based resources. The guide has been designed so that PPGs and their practice can dip in to the elements most useful to them, rather than being a tool that they are expected to work through systematically.

Its use of "plain English" helps make it an accessible resource, and it captures links to many helpful online materials to support it.

Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of General Practitioners, added: "Where Patient Participation Groups and GP practices are working well together, these partnerships have already brought significant value to patients and practice staff. We welcome the introduction of this new guide to help more practices collaborate in this way and reap the benefits of effective patient involvement."

NHS Croydon CCG aspires to implement the eight Top Tips to help CCGs engage well with PPGs (National Association for Patient Participation)  http://www.napp.org.uk/ccgengagement.html

  1. Build relationships PPGs' members are all volunteers, committed to their own GP practice. Their involvement with the NHS is likely to be limited to engaging with their practice, plus using other NHS services. Most members of the public do not know about CCGs or how commissioning works, and as such are unlikely to see an obvious personal benefit in getting involved. But even well-informed members may not see the advantage to their PPG of involvement with the CCG. Building relationships is key to good involvement. Find out from your practices who the PPG Chairs are. Offer to meet them or phone them to introduce yourself and find out more about them. These relationships will be key to whether or not a PPG considers it worthwhile getting involved with the CCG. 

  2. Offer networking opportunities – but don't dictate agendas Many PPGs still do not meet together in local areas, and would value opportunities to do so. Offering to host PPG network events can be a positive step, especially if you then resource the meetings well (refreshments, venues, covering travel and other expenses). Enabling PPGs to design the agenda so it meets their needs, whilst introducing possible topics of value to the CCG, is also helpful in relationship building. 

  3. Work together in planning, seeking to co-produce with PPGs You may have a clear idea of what you want PPGs to consider, but you will get better engagement if there are genuine opportunities for PPGs to influence the activity they might get involved in.  Whilst those involved in PPGs are generally interested in health care and in improving services for patients, they are not just an altruistic resource! Good engagement will identify goals and benefits for the CCG and for PPGs taking part. Be prepared to listen to PPGs and meet them on their agendas. Work with PPGs to identify the things it would be good to discuss: they will have ideas they would like to explore, as will you. Make sure that meetings are about "real" engagement and involvement. Involve PPGs early enough to co-produce plans and to genuinely influence decisions. If you are not open to doing anything differently after meeting with PPG representatives, then you are not carrying out authentic involvement. 

  4. Recognise PPG members are volunteers – reimburse travel and consider paying for time Make it easy for the volunteers you involve.  Most PPG members enjoy being volunteers and this is a part of their identity in their PPG activity. But they do not have an organisation behind them to cover costs, so proactively offer travel expenses (and, if appropriate, consider subsistence, childcare etc.) Time given voluntarily still has costs (e.g. time spent not doing other things).  

  5. Recognise and embrace the diversity of PPGs No PPG will be representative of their entire local community, so don't expect them to be! They will bring you one useful source of views from a set of patients. No PPG should present itself as being the only patient voice, but rather as representing some patients' voices. Engaging with PPGs may help you target other resources on harder to reach, seldom-heard groups. Whilst those involved in PPGs may have personal experience of secondary care health services, the PPG is not there to reflect that secondary care experience, only perspectives on primary care. Recognise and respect this focus. It means you can seek out other patient voices to bring secondary care experience, whilst maximising the primary care focus of the PPGs. Of course, PPGs may be able to reflect the experiences of some patients at the interface between primary and secondary care, e.g. regarding experiences of discharge and post-hospital care. 

  6. Share information in a timely way, in plain English Build the consideration of involving PPGs into the early planning of all engagement activity. It is easier to take it out of plans if genuinely not required rather than to bring it in at a late stage.  When involving patients and their representatives ensure the language you use is inclusive, clear and jargon-free. This is not about "dumbing down", but rather enabling engagement through transparency. Invest in plain English editorial advice, particularly for complex information written in "NHS-speak". 

  7. Make use of Building Better Participation and the resources it links to Building Better Participation was developed through co-production with PPG and practice representatives, with input from some CCGs. It helps frame best practice and hosts links to wide range of publicly available guidance drawn from a variety of organisations. The volume Influencing beyond the GP practice particularly encourages PPGs to consider how they can play a part in the wider health and care system beyond their GP practice, and may be a useful starter for discussions with PPGs that are new to engagement with their CCG. 

  8. Give it time! Good engagement and involvement takes time. The tips above are easier to achieve without a looming involvement deadline. If you know you should engage better with PPGs, then allocate some resource to begin to build the relationships to underpin best practice.   And remember: Patients have more to offer health care professionals and policy makers than just their illness! 
Link to video about how to build effective PPG's http://www.napp.org.uk/bestprac.html