Rye Medical Centre has told Rye News that it is seeking up to four new committee members for its patients participation group (PPG) – one of the important functions that operate at most GP practices across the country but which, perhaps, remain unnoticed by a number of patients, and particularly those who rarely visit their local surgery, and therefore miss the prominent noticeboard outlining the functions and activities of their local PPG.
PPGs were created nationally under a contractual requirement for all English based practices that took effect in 2004, although many have been in existence since as early as 1972, comprising around a dozen volunteer patients alongside the practice manager and one or more GPs.
A primary function of a PPG is to encourage and strengthen the relationship between patients and the practices.
This encompasses a variety of roles with the aim of advising the practice of the patient’s perspective and to promote health matters by means of wider communication with the patient body and the organisation of health promotion events.
Feeding back patients’ concerns
The PPG serves to provide feedback to the practice and its GP partners and influence where possible the practice on patient concerns and the wider NHS on matters such as commissioning.
The PPG normally meets on a regular basis, although in the current health emergency, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant pressures on the practice, meetings have perhaps inevitably been spaced out more than usual and held on a virtual basis using Zoom software.
At the same time the committee, that already had one vacancy at the start of the lockdowns, has seen a couple of other members unable to continue to make this vital volunteer contribution to the work of the practice on behalf of its patients.
Speaking to Rye News earlier this week, PPG chair Julie Dockerill told us “We are seeking to recruit up to four new volunteers to the group’s management committee in order to maintain and hopefully further enhance this important means of regular communication between the surgery and the patients, in order to achieve the aims of the group. Ideally as representative a sample as possible of the practice’s patient base in terms of both age and experience is sought.
“I am confident that all new members will find the work of the PPG both interesting and worthwhile
“No one need feel excluded in any way from this and we welcome all applications who are invited to email their details, including ideally a daytime telephone number, to: email@example.com or make a written application to Rye Medical Centre PPG, Kiln Drive, Rye TN31 7SQ.
Image Credits: Richard Byham .