Patient Participation Groups (PPGs)

Working alongside practice teams, patient groups get involved in a variety of activities. As well as providing feedback to practices on the services it provides and helping get information out to the wider patient population, groups work on projects which bring health and well-being benefits to their fellow patients. 

Many PPGs are keen to share their initiatives, work with other groups, and get new ideas to take back to their own groups.

Detailed below are some ideas that we have come across and we would like to add any more ideas that you have.

If you have any suggestions that you'd be happy to share with others, please get in touch with the Involvement team via email to

Organising events

The NHS wants to help people take more responsibility for their own health and some PPGs are supporting us to do this by putting on Health and Wellbeing events. These can be targeted at a particular patient group, i.e. diabetes patients, or to the general population where people can come along to get information and advice from health and wellbeing specialists, for example, The British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, and local health and activity groups. 

This is a good way to give patients information on managing a health condition in an informal and even entertaining way!

PPGs can work with their GP surgery to arrange guest speakers, send invitations and publicise these events. Popular subjects have included diabetes, eating well, heart health, and dementia.

Work with the practice to organise a family fun day or a more general open day. Invite local residents to come along to find out more about the practice and think about inviting local emergency services and other health and well-being organisations to have stands at the event. PPG members have previously helped with health checks, refreshments, and raffles and demonstrated patient online access and E-consult. 

Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

PCN (Primary Care Networks) patient groups are slightly different in that these patient groups are made up of the group of GP practices.  

Primary Care Networks are groups of GP practices that cover a population of 30 – 50,000 patients. Instead of having individual GP practice PPG groups, the group of practices may decide to have one PCN patient group which covers all GP practices. 

They still operate with a Chair, Vice Chair and have an Agenda, notes etc. The only difference is that they may be a larger group of PPG members representing the views of the GP practices in the group.  eg they may help give their views on new developments for all GP practices such as a new telephone system, new services that patients would like to access as part of the group.

Resources for Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

'Friends, Families and Travellers' and the NHS England Public Participation Team offer free training available to Primary Care Networks to improve engagement with Inclusion Health groups.

Friends, Families and Travellers, Homeless Link, National Ugly Mugs, Doctors of the World, and Stonewall Housing launched the Inclusion Health Tool for Primary Care Networks. The tool is designed to support PCNs to improve their engagement with inclusion health groups, which are the groups experiencing the most severe health inequalities across the UK population.  

Since its launch, the tool has been used hundreds of times by professionals within PCNs, to support them to meet their network specification requirements to tackle inequalities in their neighbourhood. The training will build on this work, by providing interactive training sessions to PCNs, providing practical guidance to embed action on tackling health inequalities into their everyday activities.

Click here to visit the Health Inclusion tool.

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