The Patient Participation Group (PPG) of the Market Cross Surgery was started in September 2010 and comprises members of the Practice team and patients. The aim of the PPG is to involve patients in the way the Practice provides health care to the local community. It can represent the views of the patients, bringing them to the attention of the Practice team: it can also help the patients understand how the Practice functions and assist in presenting health information to the community.
The PPG needs members to ensure all groups in society are represented, all age groups and all lifestyles. If you are interested in the provision of health care to your community and are a patient at the Market Cross Surgery, please contact Sarah Greatorex, Practice Manager
PPGs have been around for many years, the first one was established in 1972. Recently they have gained support in response to the Department of Health initiative to increase patient involvement in the provision of health care services on a local level, and the recent changes to the way in which Primary Care Services are funded and delivered.
The aims and objectives of the Market Cross Surgery PPG are to:
- Contribute to practice decision-making and consult on service development and provision
- Be aware of the general needs, concerns and interests of patients and raise issues constructively when appropriate.
- Act as a critical friend in representing the patient body and help the understanding of the practice viewpoint.
- Assist the practice and its patients by making patients aware of support within the community
- Promote good health and higher levels of health literacy by encouraging and supporting activites within the practice and promoting preventative medicine
- Liaise with other PPGs in the area
- Give feedback to NHS Trusts on consultations as appropriate
The recent “Focus on Dementia” event was organised by the PPG to provide information to people who are worried about the effects of dementia, other focus days are in the pipeline for this year. The triage survey which was run in February 2011 resulted in changes to the way phone calls are handled; the survey will be rerun to provide feedback from patients as to how these changes have improved the triage system.
If you have views about how the Market Cross Practice delivers it’s services, or ideas that the PPG could utilise please let us know.
If you would like further information about the work of PPGs, the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) has a website and a document describing the NAPPs response to the Department of Health initiative can be found here
Sharing of Patient information
You may be aware that the Department of Health is shortly to introduce a new scheme which requires surgeries to share patients’ information more widely with other organisations, largely for the purpose of research.
Although this has some advantages, what you may not know is that the information about you which is to be shared includes your NHS number, your date of birth, your family history and your post code. This means that it will be readily possible for those receiving the information to identify individuals, and no-one can safely predict how that information will ultimately be used. This will happen unless you tell your G.P. surgery that you do not want it to (opting-out).
The Government has given assurances about confidentiality and security of data, but the record of successive governments in this respect is not good.
All households should have received a leaflet in January 2014 outlining the scheme and explaining that individual patients have a right to opt-out. The leaflets are not clear how this may be done and seem to expect that most people will not opt-out. So much national concern has been expressed that the Government has deferred the introduction of the scheme for six months from February 2014. By opting-out you ensure that any information shared is anonymous and contains no identifying factors.
The Market Cross Patients’ Group has considered the NHS Data Sharing Initiative and its implications for patient confidentiality, and is concerned that patients should be made as aware as possible of their right to opt out, if they choose to do so, and how they can go about this. To assist, we have produced an “opt-out” form which can be completed by each patient and handed in to the Surgery staff before July 2014.