In the last 18 months Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) have faced many challenges to the way they work and how they support their local surgery. However, many groups have seen opportunities to change how they operate, utilising the skills of members to keep their groups functioning and helping their local GP Practice at the same time.

The use of videoconferencing tools such as Zoom and other digital resources have enabled groups to thrive. We have supported these groups by helping to manage online meetings and giving tuition to members to raise their confidence in taking part in online meetings.

To help keep PPG members updated we’ve held a series of webinars on topics including eConsult, Help and Kindness, and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). We also held an online session for PPGs to showcase their activities to other PPGs.

Alongside the webinars we’ve also supported PPGs with their various specific projects, including:

  • Co-ordination of the volunteer effort at Covid-19 vaccination clinics,
  • Supporting a practice with the creation of a Covid-19 dedicated information phone line, saving many hours of receptionist time as well as providing a useful link for those without internet access,
  • Creating a questionnaire to evaluate patients’ experience of using GP services since the start of COVID-19,
  • The formation of a Youth PPG to support plans for young people to help inform future service planning for services they use,
  • Planning the flu vaccination rollout with local GP practices,
  • Forming a “cross-PCN” group of PPG representatives, aimed at PCN areas where there were only one or two active PPGs,
  • Continuing to develop and update the PPG support pages on the CCG website.

Our team

Gill Foott and Jim Gammans are working with Dorset GP practices to develop a strong, county wide network of patient groups. Find out more about Patient Participation Groups on our website.

Gill Foott
Gill FoottEngagement and Communications Coordinator (PPGs)
Gill Foott joined the team after 21 years at Dorset County Hospital where she was involved in public engagement, setting up events for the Trust membership and working closely with the hospital governors. Gill now supports PPGs in Purbeck, Poole, East Dorset, and North Dorset.
Jim Gammans
Jim GammansEngagement and Communications Coordinator (PPGs)
Jim Gammans joined the NHS following a career working with Age UK and brings with him a wealth of experience in engaging with the public. He works with PPGs in Mid Dorset, West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland, Bournemouth and Christchurch.