Keeping your PPG group going
At some point most PPG groups will find the going tough and find it difficult to recruit more volunteers. There are some things you can do to keep the enthusiasm going:
- Share your issues – HealthEast runs a bi-monthly PPG Forum and every PPG is invited to send a representative to the forum. This can be a great place to share any issues and listen to what solutions others have come up with.
- Find a ‘buddy’ group – one of the other local PPGs may be able to support you through difficult times with advice and tips and sometimes just providing another person to listen to any issues.
- Share the workload – no one wants to do all the work so make sure you establish roles and responsibilities and review these regularly; use a rota system for jobs such as taking minutes; look into training.
A strong well-balanced group should try to have a mix of the following people:
- Active volunteers – people with the time, skills and commitment to make things happen
- Interested professionals – the doctors and administrative staff who work, or have worked recently, within and know the local system
- Key supporters – people with influence in your locality e.g. local councillor or business people who can help raise the profile of the group and help improve the chances of your group finding financial or other forms of support.
If your group does not have a good mix then be proactive and target local people who will help to give you that mix.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Communicating with your existing PPG members and your wider population on a regular basis is key to keeping your PPG alive and working well. It will be useful to discuss within your PPG how to do this but some ways to do this include:
- A PPG newsletter
- Web page on the practice website
- Write regular updates for parish magazines or village noticeboards
- Hold a regular ‘surgery’ in your practice where a PPG member spends time in reception making themselves available to patients for questions and feedback.Posters/information on your PPG notice board in your practice