Locality Patient Participation Groups (LPPGs)
At the CCG’s Patient Forum in April 2018 GP practices’ Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) including Glendale PPG asked if the CCG would reinstate the Locality Patient Participation Groups (LPPGs) in each locality area. The groups were historically organised by the CCG every quarter to give PPGs the chance to link in with neighbouring patient groups and the CCG and to have a shared voice.
We have reconvened the North Locality Patient Participation Group (LPPG) where outline Terms of Reference and potential future ways of working to ensure two way engagement and communication were discussed. The resulting model will be discussed with the other three localities in the West, Blyth Valley and Central with a view to re-energising PPG engagement across the county. The CCG views the re-engagement with PPGs as a priority which links into the overarching Communications and Engagement Strategy objective to ‘involve the public, stakeholders and staff’ which can be found here.
We engaged with practices on the formation of LPPGs through discussion at practice locality meetings, and information sent via the Locality Bulletin for sharing with PPG members.
Quarterly LPPGs in the North, Central, West and Blyth Valley localities aim to enable the discussion and debate of a full range of primary care topics and potentially encourage the sharing of PPG best practice/innovative ideas.
Harder to reach groups
Members of the community and voluntary sector said in the 360 Patient Survey 2017/18 that they felt that the CCG could engage more with ‘harder to reach’ groups and act on the feedback it receives.
We have commissioned Healthwatch to engage with the community and voluntary sector on our behalf for the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) engagement which was held during summer 2018. For full details click here. Northumberland Council Youth Service was involved in this engagement exercise and returned surveys with young people’s feedback. We are also recruiting members of seldom heard groups to our new MY NHS Patient Involvement Network (PIN) and specific work is under way with representation from carers in the first recruitment phase.
Primary care access
Kathleen Nisbet, councillor for Croft Ward in Blyth, invited the CCG to attend an over 50s group in the in Blyth to discuss access to GP practices. There were also wider concerns about sustainability after a local practice gave notice to close in Blyth and the neighbouring GP practice Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) asked for attendance from the CCG at their meetings.
The CCG’s senior head of commissioning for Primary Care and Urgent & Emergency Care Pamela Phelps, along with the CCG’s engagement manager Audrey Barton, visited the Over 50s group in the Comrades Club. The topics discussed included concerns around how to retain GPs in the local area and issues with getting a GP appointment. The information gathered from the event is being fed into the CCG’s primary care sustainability work.
Pamela, along with the CCG’s Strategic Head of Corporate Affairs Stephen Young also visited two PPGs – Railway and Marine – to talk about concerns around a local practice closing and to advise how patients can register with other practices.