Patient participation groups event September 2016

Slides used at the workshop, facilitated by Renée Dickinson:

Objectives for the session

  • Honest exploration of how we can strengthen the relationship between this CCG and local PPGs
  • Co-production of a model for working together - a hand out defining co-production was provided and further explanation given
  • Identifying the hopes and concerns moving forward

Current support for PPGs

  • Annual (now 6 monthly) PPG network event
  • Regular newsletter
  • ePanel
  • Open communications via the ‘contact us’ email account and telephone number that is visible on all of our external communications 
  • Adhoc CCG contributions (e.g. to PPG magazines and self-care events)

Key priorities for the local NHS now

These areas were not explained just referred to and the audience were invited to ask questions as and when required or to look at the information from the previous PPG event held in June for further information around these topics. 

  • Primary Care Co-Commissioning – More influence, more collaboration
  • Adapt and Thrive – A Strategy for General Practice and Community Care, Local Community Networks
  • Sustainable Transformation Programme (STP) – How we reallocate budgets across health and social care and remove barriers
  • Coastal Care – The vision for integrated care in the Coastal WS area

What are other CCGs and their PPGs doing?

  • Brighton CCG - PPG hubs aligned to community networks
  • Leicester City CCG  - PPG champions model, training provided
  • Camden CCG – PPG representatives solely make up the Patient Public Engagement Group which feeds into decision makers
  • Are there any elements from these that we think will work here in Coastal West Sussex?

Some areas for exploration during today’s workshop

  • Practice mergers / closures – How can the PPGs assist?
  • Can we utilise the CCG website better to assist PPGs?
  • How can PPGs help to convey pertinent messages to relieve the pressure on general practice?
  • Champions model – training? advice?

Breakout session – working within tabled groups.

What does a good PPG look like?

Following discussions during the early part of the workshop, rather than asking groups to look at their hopes and concerns for a relationship model moving forward, it was established that it would be more useful to go back to basics.

On tables the PPG members were asked to define what a good PPG looks like. Ideas were then fed back to the larger group for discussion.

This is what the groups said:

  • Clarity of purpose with a clear objectives
  • Buy in and support from the practice, especially the practice managers and the GPs
  • A good representation of the different types of people from the community
  • Ability to influence decisions at the practice
  • Good communication links between the CCG
  • Good communication links with practice population
  • The knowledge that enables the group to be informative to the practice population

Actions arising

  1. CCG To consolidate guidance from NAPP and distribute a guide to PPG’s that defines the ideal and core purpose / objectives
  2. CCG to put together a plan for promoting the benefits of PPGs to practice managers and practice staff
  3. PPG members to feed into a plan for promoting the benefits of working with PPGs by providing good examples of how PPGs have supported practices or patients such as through community events or information leaflets, changes to process and so on.

How do we get there?

Back in small groups, PPG members worked to identify some key things that could make the ideal PPG be a reality.

This is what the groups said:

  • Sharing of expertise, PPGs could learn from each other - eg IT skills.
  • Working at a larger scale than the geography of one PPG to create networks.
  • Clear terms of reference to be created and agreement from members.
  • Better understanding of how PPG’s can feed into CCG work.
  • Networking is essential – with PPG members and other PPGs.
  • Enthusiasm – links with the promotion of the benefits of PPG’s, both internally to practice staff but also within communities to enhance recruitment.
  • CQC (Care Quality Commission) inspections of GP practices could shed light on the standards for patient engagement – key line of enquiry W4; How are people who use the service, the public and staff engaged and involved?

Actions arising

  1. CCG to explore the initiation of IT training to support PPGs in their work.
  2. PPG members to ensure that the CCG have the correct contact details for them, especially if they are NOT receiving regular newsletters and other communications.
  3. CCG to re-send the link for joining the ePanel so that all attendees can sign up if they are not already members.
  4. CCG and PPG’s to Consider holding PPG networking groups at Locality level.
  5. CCG to develop advice and guidance for PPG’s when practices are merging.
  6. CCG to explore how best to utilise the CQC inspections relating to patient involvement.

Key points from general discussions

Local Community Networks

There was a mixed level of awareness of this idea. Brendan Foat from the Primary Care Development Team was able to provide a little more detail about the background and objectives.

The group were informed that by mid-October the number of LCNs should be confirmed along with the exact geographical locations. Some members of the group believed that this information was imperative for taking thinking forward. There was opinion from several members that Cissbury should be two LCNs given the dense population.

Defining a PPG

A useful definition was provided by one PPG member:

‘ a patient group (is a group) that can influence the development of the practice and ensure that patients gain a greater understanding of the issues facing the practice and how we are hoping to resolve them’

Guidance for PPGs

Would be useful to have a general approach to what the ideal is and what PPGs are aiming for. NAPP do produce information and several of the PPGs in CWS are members of NAPP.

Practice mergers

This area has seen a few GP practices merge recently and there was discussion about the benefits and also the difficulties of facilitating this, particularly when the purpose of the PPGs from the merging surgeries had originally been different. PPG members were looking to the CCG to provide support on this.

Motivation for becoming a member of a PPG and its purpose

For one individual the motivation for becoming a member of a PPG being personal, that the reason they had chosen to get involved being related to personal care and not the desire to become involved in the bureaucracy of larger organisations led by Government.

This initiated the questioning of the purpose of the workshop and potentially an assumption having been made that PPGs wanted to be part of something bigger. Reassurance was given that the workshop had evolved from PPG feedback and the CCG’s aim to embed a culture of co-production.


The PPG members really want to be kept informed about changes that will affect local healthcare.

Practice managers

PMs are absolutely integral to the success of a PPG in any format. They are a crucial asset and the CCG need to educate and work with PMs better to promote the benefits of a practice investing in their PPG.

Attention needs to be given to those practices that do not have a PPG so that we can begin to understand any resistance.