PPGs are a forum for patients to communicate with their GP practice and offer patients the opportunity to put forward their views and suggestions. They meet regularly to decide ways of making a positive contribution to the services and facilities offered by the surgery to its patients. We want more patients to get involved and help improve the delivery of health services, as well as make a difference to their local community.
Patient participation groups are made up of volunteers interested in healthcare issues and can include members of practice staff. Virtual patient participation groups also exist for individuals who are unable to attend regular meetings but keen to be involved in a patient group to have their say on healthcare services.
Become a member of a PPG
All GP practices across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre are required to have a PPG. Even if you are not able to attend many meetings your GP practice may have a virtual PPG you could get involved with and let your views and opinions known by email.
To join a PPG, or for more information, simply ask at your GP practice.
PPGs can make a real difference to the care received by local people and can also play a part in improving health and wellbeing in local communities through project work. Examples of this include:
- The Thornton Practice PPG won awards for a project working with children to think about healthy living. It has also worked with the older generation to bring them together for community activities such as tennis lessons to reduce social isolation and improve fitness.
- In Fleetwood, the PPGs have been heavily involved in the Healthier Fleetwood initiative, which has seen the creation of many community groups including singing and table tennis, which have again helped tackle loneliness and poor fitness. Healthier Fleetwood has also organised the Young Chef of the Year competition, which raises awareness in primary school children of a healthy lifestyle, and launched a social prescribing initiative.
- Holland House and neighbouring practices in the Lytham St Annes area have worked hard to help people with dementia by holding arts competitions and hosting arts and crafts events. Members also organise the annual Dementia Singalong event.
- In Kirkham, Ash Tree House PPG has launched a walking group which brings people together to improve their fitness through gentle exercise.
Every year since 2015, NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG has hosted a special event for PPG representatives and GP practices to come together and share best practice.
These events have proved extremely popular and provided patient volunteers from across Fylde and Wyre with the opportunity to hear about each other’s successes and to help the CCG in the development of new services or ways of working.
In 2017, the event was extended to include PPGs in Blackpool.
A report is prepared after each of these events, which can be downloaded from below:
|PPG Conference 2016 Report||0.5 MB||87|
|PPG Conference 2017 Report||0.8 MB||71|
|PPG Conference 2018 Report||0.6 MB||139|
|PPG Conference 2019 report||4.3 MB||6|
During these events the PPGs have helped the CCG in the development of plans to increase the number of services being delivered outside of hospital and in local communities and also helped in the promotion of GP online services.
The event in 2017 saw PPGs and practice staff work together in neighbourhoods to start to develop plans for the development of neighbourhood projects and priorities which will help groups of practices and patients work together to improve health and wellbeing at a more local level.
In 2017, Fylde and Wyre CCG hosted the first annual PPG Awards to recognise the impact of patient volunteers on health and care in the area and to honour the dedication of local PPGs, their members and GP practices. These awards were extended to cover Blackpool in 2019.
There are currently five awards:
PPG of the Year
In recognition of a group’s exemplary performance and team commitment and for the many devoted hours of encouragement and help the group has given unselfishly to its practice; the PPG of the Year celebrates excellence in participation between primary care and communities, including patients, service users, carers and the public. An outstanding PPG that demonstrated an excellent working relationship with its practice, which has made a real difference to the patients through innovative projects and improvements. An established PPG that has embedded itself within the make-up of the GP practice and has gone above and beyond. This is a PPG that does all it can to be representative of all its patients and aims to seek input from people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.
2017: The Thornton Practice
2018: The Thornton Practice
2019: Holland House Surgery / Highly commended: Over Wyre Medical Centre
Volunteer of the Year
Someone who has gone above and beyond in their position helping the PPG and its practice. This person – who can represent a PPG at any level, from chair to basic member – is driven to help the PPG and its practice at any level. This award is to acknowledge their generous commitment of time, support and inspiration, and to recognise their enduring commitment.
2017: Karen Donley, Holland House / Highly commended: Pauline Kennedy, Fleetwood Surgery; Ian Gibson, Over Wyre Medical Centre
2018: Pauline Kennedy, Fleetwood Surgery / Highly commended: Ann Gabb, Ash Tree House Surgery; Gemma Jackson, The Thornton Practice
2019: Helen Roberts, Over Wyre Medical Centre PPG / Highly commended: Gemma Jackson, The Thornton Practice
Most Improved PPG
This award celebrates a PPG that has taken steps to really improve in terms of patient involvement and engagement with its practice. It demonstrates good practice, innovation and working together in supporting and promoting health and wellbeing and/or patient involvement. PPGs that have only recently launched or had a recent drive in terms of membership and/or activity can be submitted for this award. It could have recently transformed from just a virtual PPG to a physical group. This PPG, while not firmly established, is on the up and well on its way to becoming firmly embedded in its practice.
2017: Ash Tree House Surgery / Highly commended: Broadway Medical Centre
2018: Broadway Medical Centre
2019: Adelaide Street Family Practice / Highly commended: Ansdell Medical Centre
Most Engaged GP Practice
A GP practice that has embraced patient involvement and done all it can to work with its PPG. An innovator, working with its PPG to highlight and address areas where improvements could be made, showcasing new ideas and unique approaches to patient experience. This practice has plenty of examples to show how it has put the wishes of its patients at the heart of improvements and shown a real dedication to giving patients a voice and listening to it. A practice that demonstrates regular clinical input at meetings, perhaps has a GP patient champion for example, or a GP or clinical member of staff who is actively involved with the PPG.
2017: Over Wyre Medical Centre
2018: Holland House Surgery
2019: The Thornton Practice
Community Project of the Year
An award aimed at either PPGs or other resident-led neighbourhood and community initiatives, this award recognises an innovative project which is improving the health and/or wellbeing of people living within its area. With proven positive outcomes, winning projects are making a difference to the lives of local people at any scale, from a small group to entire communities.
2019: Blackpool Citizens’ Inquiries / Highly commended: Healthier Fleetwood