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National Patient Participation Week

National Patient Participation Week, or PPG (Patient Participation Group) Awareness Week is an annual event that takes place this year from 3rd - 9th June. It aims to promote the role and benefits of PPGs to patients, the public and health professionals, to create more understanding of the value of true patient participation can bring to healthcare. A PPG is a group of people who are patients of a GP practice and want to help it work as well as it can for patients, doctors and staff. The NHS requires every practice to have a PPG.

It serves as a platform to recognise the pivotal role patients play in shaping their own healthcare experiences and to promote collaborative relationships between patients, healthcare providers, and communities. It provides an opportunity for patients, healthcare professionals, and organisations to come together, share experiences, and promote dialogue that enhances the delivery of patient-centred care. It allows patients to get a better understanding and knowledge of a practice and its staff, which in turn will benefit the services they provide. A PPG can also help to fill some of the gaps in services by signposting patients to available support or providing services such as patient libraries, volunteer transport, befriending and support groups.

A PPG has to represent a whole practice population, not personal or individual views, and so must have a strategic and overarching focus. It is the PPG’s responsibility is to ensure that plans, services and activities respond to patient’s priorities and needs.

Your experiences matter and you can bring different ideas to the surgery to help treat patients better or to improve what a practice does in some way. You will also gain a better understanding of the NHS, and gather feedback from other patients. If you are wanting to join your local PPG speak with your GP practice today for information on how to get involved.

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