One year under our belts…and full steam ahead for more.

We’re Jim and Gill and we’re celebrating our first year working in the Communications and Engagement Team.   We’re here because practices and their PPGs told the CCG that they needed support to establish and develop their PPGs which is exactly what we’re here to do. So thanks, because we thoroughly enjoy our jobs!

We’re always on the lookout for ways we can support PPGs – these are some of the things we’ve been doing in our first year:

PPGs are really keen to influence the provision of local services

And it’s vital to the NHS too – getting feedback enables us to build better services.  We wanted to help maximise the opportunities for PPGs to do this.  As practices now work together in Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to deliver services we thought that PPGs should be given the opportunity to work together and form a PCN PPG.  We’ve now arranged this in a number of PCNs. PPG chairs from all the individual PPGs meet, learn about the local services and initiatives taking place, and feedback to PCN management teams.  Some PCNs have provided places on their management boards for a representative of the PCN PPG which we think is a fantastic move – it’s a direct line between local people, GPs and their teams.

PPGs wanted a one stop shop for advice, ideas and information

In February 2020 our PPG web pages will go live – they have a great range of document templates, resources, ideas for PPG activities, case studies and news from PPGs.  We’ve involved some PPG members in reviewing the content so hopefully it will be pretty useful. Templates for PPG Terms of Reference and meeting agendas were high on the wish list of some PPGs and these are included in our resources section.

To get some inspiration, PPGs wanted to find out more about other PPGs and their activities

We know who’s who with PPGs because we work with groups right across the county.  This has allowed us to introduce some pro-active and experienced PPG Chairs to other groups and speak at their meetings – just to share what they’ve been up to.  It’s gone down really well and has inspired some groups to follow their lead.  We’ve also included some case studies and latest PPG news in our new web pages and invited some PPGs to present at our PPG networking events in 2019 – it all helps.  We’re hoping this might be repeated at our 2020 Conference.

Enabling PPGs to be involved in our 2020 Conference

In the feedback we had from our 2019 events, we were asked to deliver the event that PPGs actually want, with the training opportunities that they need – not one we think they should have.  So, we’ve invited 6 PPG Chairs from across the county to be involved in planning the programme for May 2020.  Watch this space for more information.

PPG members told us, and the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) recommends, that we pay travel costs to enable members to get involved.  For our 2020 conference in May we’ll be doing this, and providing some lunch – which we hope illustrates how valuable our public engagement programme is.

Talking of the training that PPGs have told us they want

We’ve been meeting with PPG chairs on a 1-2-1 basis, especially when they’ve been new, to offer them training and support around chairing meetings, engaging with their practice, use of social media and recruitment of new members.  We’re always open to other training ideas too so if we can’t deliver it ourselves…we might know a man who can!

Find out more about Patient Participation Groups.