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New guideline released to boost efficiency of PPGs

16 May 2016

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New resources from the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) are available for GP practice patient participation groups (PPGs) to help them work more effectively.

Released on behalf of NHS England, the resources are designed to help PPGs reflect on how well they operate and identify any areas of improvement.

To achieve this, Building better participation uses a four-part framework that covers getting PPGs in place, helping PPGs work well, knowing and working with patients and influencing beyond the GP practice.

Each of these four areas contains practical activities to help the PPG and its practice focus their efforts and achieve a set of goals specific to each section.

The resources also come with web-resources and a self-assessment sheet to help PPGs plan toward these goals.

However, with the unique situation of each PPG in mind, NAPP has designed the guide to allow PPGs and their practices to use only what they will find most useful, rather than being a tool that must be worked through systematically.   

And, by using accessible language, the resources are designed to benefit every type of PPG.

Dr Patricia Wilkie, NAPP president and chairman, 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.”

While the resources are not mandatory for PPGs to use, the guidance encourages all PPGs to “support the principles of seeking to improve, to do a bit more, and to continue to promote the involvement of, and engagement with, patients”.

Professor Nigel Mathers, honorary secretary of the Royal College of General Practitioners, added: “Where PPGs 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.”

A hard copy of the resources will by distributed to every PPG that is a member of NAPP.