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Patient Participation Awareness Week

The week is organised by the National Association for Patient Participation, (N.A.P.P) a national charity, formed in 1978.

Patient Participation Groups (PPG) are groups of active volunteer patients who work in partnership with GPs and practice teams to ensure the patients perspective is at the heart of local provision so that services are of high quality and continuously improve.

This unique partnership between patients and their practices is essential to achieving high quality and responsive care. The groups also provide practical support in the surgery, foster improved communication between the practice and its patients and help patients to take more responsibility for their health.

These groups meet face to face with practice staff at mutually agreed intervals. ‘Virtual PPGs’ now also exist, operating alongside ‘real’ groups enabling a dialogue with the whole patient population through email, online surveys and social media.

The first PPG was started in 1972 by GPs and there are now PPGs in dental practices and pharmacies.

PPGs work in a partnership with their practice, built on mutual trust and respect to:

  • Act as ‘critical friend’ to provide a patients’ perspective ensuring services, plans and activities respond to patient’s needs and priorities.
  • Foster communication with the wider patient population building stronger patient – doctor relationships.
  • Provide practical support to practice teams e.g. conducting and analysing patient surveys, organising health awareness events.
  • Encourage those with long term and/ or multiple health conditions to gain confidence in managing and taking control of their health and care.
  • Help other patients take more responsibility for their health and make informed decisions.

Michelle Pilling, Lay Advisor Quality and Patient Involvement — Deputy Chair said, “Patient Participation Week aims to highlight the importance of patient feedback in improving services and to promote the benefits patient participation groups can bring to practices and patients. During the week Patient Participation Groups across East Lancashire will be holding meet and greet sessions, and raising awareness of the benefits of patients getting involved with their GP practices. You can find out more at your GP practice, most of which have PPG noticeboards or newsletters. In addition you can join our umbrella involvement group - Patient Partners Connect - East Lancashire CCG believes that it is by working with patients that GPs and the CCG can improve patient care”.