This week (30 May – 3 June) is Patient Participation Group (PPG) awareness week, which is intended to raise the profile and promote the benefits of PPGs among patients and healthcare professionals.
As part of the campaign, NHS England and Improvement is inviting GP practice staff to attend events to learn more about how to engage different groups and share good practice examples of participation.
PPGs – groups of patients and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experiences – have existed since 1972. Practices have been contractually required to have one since 2015.
The virtual sessions for practice staff includes one on improving engagement among inclusion groups within primary care settings, which will take place on Wednesday 1 June from 3-4pm.
There will also be a Twitter chat on Wednesday 1 June from 12-12.50pm to celebrate the week and focus on improving engagement in primary care. Those wanting to join in can tag @NHSCitizen and the hashtag #StartWithPeople will be circulating.
Dr Phil Hammond, GP turned hospital doctor, journalist and broadcaster supporting Patient Participation Awareness Week, said: ‘Patients and carers are the smoke alarms for the frontline of the NHS. They are often first to spot poor care and also have great ideas about how to make care better.
‘They need to be involved in decisions not just about their care, but in designing better care for others. Patient Participation Groups are a crucial way of harnessing the voice of the patient in primary care, and have much to contribute in driving up quality.’