Our aim is to have the broadest cross section of our Practice population. Our population is incredibly diverse and we have patients of different ages and with a wide variety of different needs. Due to this the PPG is open to any patient of North Shore Surgery, but is limited to a maximum of 12 representatives including those representing the Practice.
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Patient participation can benefit both patients and practices. Having a patient participation group (PPG) creates a connection between the practice and its patients; allowing open, constructive discussion and analysis of service provision, and offering an alternative perspective on many of the topics relevant to general practice.
A PPG is a mechanism which at different times can represent the patient population to the practice, and the practice to the wider community. PPGs can help the practice to account for its provision of healthcare through various mechanisms, e.g. critical analysis, with the outcomes being used to improve the quality and level of healthcare services and facilities. Further research on the effects of involving patients in the quality and effectiveness of services would be welcome, as little evidence currently exists. Research into the impact of a PPG on the attitudes of practice personnel towards patients would be particularly welcome. The most common reasons for setting up a group are:
- to consult and plan with patients whenever possible on the facilities and provision of services
- to bring a sense of ownership and partnership between practice staff and patients
- to give practice staff and patients the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest
- to allow patients to make positive suggestions about the practice and their own healthcare
- to develop self-help projects to meet the needs of fellow patients
- to act as a representative group that can be called upon to influence the local provision of health and social care.