In 2011 the Department of Health launched a new initiative to encourage Practices to engage more closely with their patients.
This is called the “Patient Participation Directed Enhanced Service”. Practices are encouraged to set up a Patient Participation Group as a way of fostering closer contact between the Practice and its patients.
The aim of the Patient Participation Group (PPG) or Patient Reference Group (PRG) is to facilitate a closer involvement with patients in the design and delivery of the healthcare services they receive.
Dr Reidy & Partners, as the Partnership that manages both Desborough Surgery and Hazlemere Surgery, supports the initiative, and has set up a PPG.
In order to reach out to a representative body, it was agreed that we would establish a ‘virtual group’, meaning that information would be sought via email using questionnaires.
This will enable to Practice to collect opinions from the patients on various matters that concern both of the surgeries.
Initially patients interested in participating were sought via a variety of methods – the surgery website, messages on the electronic screens at both sites and posters advertising the PPG were put up in the surgeries. Where we already had an email address for patients, invitations were sent.
In addition for a 2 week period the General Practitioners and Practice Nurses were asked to hand out flyers to all patients asking who would like to be involved. In this way efforts were made to have a group representative of the patient demographic.
Respondents were asked what issues were important to them.
Patients were then emailed a validated questionnaire called the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire which is produced with the kind permission of the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge.
This questionnaire covers a wide range of issues. It asks questions about the following areas – receptionists and appointments, opening times, doctors and clinical care. We were aware from previous responses that these issues are important to patients, and it was agreed that they should form the basis of our survey.
It is envisaged that a survey will be carried out at least once a year, and in addition the opinion of the PPG will be canvassed on other areas that are identified by the PPG itself.
We want to establish how surgery services can be improved and enhance communication between surgery staff and our patients. The surgery values the opinions of the whole patient population. All views that have been offered will be respected and are, of course, confidential.
New members of the PPG are welcome. Please complete the form on the website.
The PPG & Survey
The PPG is designed for the benefit of all patients. Therefore there are things it can and cannot do:
The PPG can:
- Offer feedback from a patient perspective by collecting patients’ opinions
- Help our practices make the most of our resources
- Improve communication
- Help promote good health
- Influence practice decisions
The PPG is not:
- A complaints forum
- A forum for personal medical problems
Profile of the PPG
Of the patients who agreed to participate 38% were male and 62% female. Other information was as follows for the respondents.
Age distribution was as follows:
< 16 0%
17 – 24 0%
25 – 34 13 %
35 – 44 13%
45 – 54 13%
55 – 64 13%
65 – 74 35%
75 – 84 13%
Over 84 0%
Ethnic groups represented:
White British 64%
White and Black Caribbean 12%
All other groups were not represented
Employed 50% ;unemployed 0% ;retired 50%
Attendance at the practice:
Very rarely 0%
Presence of a long-term condition:
The diversity of the Group is representative of the overall practice profile. The Practice has an ethnically diverse population, and patients come from a range of social backgrounds.
Having established a PPG in 2012-13, we have now undertaken two annual surveys. Click here for the results of the 2014 survey.