Putting patients at the heart of general practice

Patients have long valued the relationship between themselves and their doctor, but during the pandemic it became clear that people wanted greater opportunities to have their say in the way services are delivered.
A doctor talking to a patient

Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) are voluntary groups, made up of people who are patients of a GP surgery and want to help it work as well as it can for patients, doctors, and staff. Every surgery is required to have a PPG, and they provide a valuable platform for patients to share what’s working well and what needs improved.

Over the last few years, there has been little communication – and little awareness of shared issues – between the various PPGs across the Bristol. We decided to set up a forum to bring representatives from each PPG together so they they could share ideas and health news, hear from expert guest speakers, and offer a voice to the 693,552 patients across the city.

At present, 41 PPGs have access to the forum, which is held every two months - and membership is growing. The forum offers a space to discuss and debate, learn from other practices, and decide how and when ongoing concerns can be addressed.

PPGs are an important part of representation, and we intend to assist in growing these and establishing a strong patient voice
— Julie Bird, Bristol Area Lead

Julie Bird, our Bristol Area Lead, said: "We are proud to be able to support a robust structure for patient participation representatives across Bristol. PPGs are an important part of representation, and we intend to assist in growing these and establishing a strong patient voice covering the diversity of Bristol’s residents."

If you would like to join your surgery's PPG, take a look on the practice website or contact the surgery to find out how you can become a member.

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