Thinking of setting up a PPG for your practice? Whether you are a GP, a practice manager, or a practice nurse, the following tips may be helpful as a quick overview:
Discuss with practice partners: The first step should be discussing the concept of establishing a group with the practice partners. For those not familiar with the benefits of PPGs, it may be worth giving them some practical examples of how the group could improve local services. To learn more about the work of existing PPGs and gain inspiration for your own group, visit the case studies section of this site
Seek advice from existing local groups: It’s worth checking whether other practices in the area are already running a PPG. They may be able to offer advice on getting a group off the ground.
Recruit members: Once all parties are in agreement that a group should be established, you’ll need to consider the membership of the group, and how you’ll set about recruiting suitable people. Things to consider might be:
Which practice members are happy to participate in the group? Will you share the responsibility or will one person be the lead coordinator?
What is the best way to recruit a membership that is representative of the local community? Some practices invite patients directly, while others appeal for membership through posters and leaflets, local media coverage or information in the practice newsletter.
Consider practice resource: While having a PPG should not be labour intensive in the longer term, as patients themselves should take on the running of the group, the practice manager and at least one GP from within the practice should aim to attend each meeting. It is also worth considering logistics for the meetings – most existing PPGs meet at the surgery, although some use other off-site venues.
Lay out the group’s aims and objectives: What does the practice consider to be the ideal aims and direction for their group? (Remember that once the group is formed it will, to a certain extent become autonomous. However the practice will have considerable influence through facilitation during the initial stages.)
Organise your first meeting: A first meeting should outline your expectations of the members and how the group will run. It is vital that members understand the scope of the group, but also how important their input will be over the coming months.
Consider linking with N.A.P.P. We provide help, support and expertise on setting up and running a PPG and it can help to link up with them at the outset to avoid some of the more common errors that are made, and which can compromise the development of the PPG.