Berkhamsted Introduction

Who We Are

We started as an advisory group of patients whose members worked voluntarily with the Boxwell Road and Milton House surgeries, acting as ‘critical friends’ to help the practice improve services for the patient population. Following the merger of Berkhamsted Group Practice with the Rothschild House Group in Tring in 2020, the Berkhamsted Patient Participation Group (PPG) will continue to represent their patients’ interests within the enlarged Rothschild House Group (RHG) and co-operate with the two other RHG PPGs representing Tring/Pitstone and Markyate surgeries’ patients.

The practice feels it will be extremely beneficial to have patient involvement and that the group’s constructive and challenging views help the surgery to better understand the patient perspective and be more responsive in their service delivery.

PPG’s are part of the NHS structure & have representatives on the Dacorum – wide group & up to the Clinical Commissioning Group, which decides on Primary Health Care in this area.

Why Have a Group?

Since April 2016 all GP’s surgeries in England are expected to have a PPG as part of meeting their GP contract. The delivery of general practice is shifting under the NHS and the practice continues to face a variety of challenging government objectives and priorities, which are continually changing.

General practice is the most commonly used point of access in the NHS. 90% of those who use general practice services will be diagnosed and treated without being referred for further specialist treatment. Current government policy therefore aims to improve both access to services locally and patient choice.

As healthcare is being brought closer to the patient, the practice is being required to ‘deliver’ more each year, for which they have no increase in the resources available to them. It is therefore important that these resources are used wisely and that the patient perspective is considered.

The practice is keen to work in partnership with the PPG and it is hoped that this approach will help to influence the provision of health and social care locally within the wider health community. Watch out for information on the Patient Group at the Surgery Reception or website. That will let you know what work is currently being undertaken by the group.

What the Group Does

The group will provide a forum to work with the practice on a variety of issues:

  • Considering service suggestions which could benefit groups of patients or individuals, providing a patient perspective
  • Assisting in evaluating and prioritising demands on our resources. Weighing up responses to patient satisfaction questionnaires and forming suitable action plans to address patient concerns
  • Acting as a sounding board for future surgery plans
  • Being a critical friend to the practice
  • Advising the practice on the patient perspective & providing insight into the responsiveness & quality of the services
  • Encouraging patients to take greater responsibility for their own & their family’s health
  • Carrying out research into the views of those who use the practice
  • Organising health promotion events & improving health literacy. We currently support the Berkhamsted Patients Group (BPG) in doing this.
  • Regular communication with the patient population

What We Can’t Do

We are not a forum for individual agendas or personal complaints. Complaints must be made directly to the practice to comply with the standardised NHS Complaints Procedure and be handled under a strict code of confidentiality.

If you have a personal complaint, please either speak to one of the practice team or pick up the practice information leaflet on complaints. The PPG will only feedback general concerns about the way the surgery operates.

Patient Group Meetings

The group meets approximately every 8 weeks on a Wednesday afternoon. Dates of forthcoming meetings can be found at the Surgery Reception.

Membership

Whilst the group aims to be representative of the patient users of the practice services, the members are not considered delegates of the population and it is recognised that the views expressed are based on their own experiences & feedback from other patients.

Virtual Membership

Any patient may volunteer to be a Virtual PPG Member and there will be no limit on the number of patients in this group. Members in this group will be contacted on-line and will be asked to respond to a number of surveys each year. Virtual members will be offered the opportunity to help with projects and will be kept informed of all meeting decisions via the Practice Website and PPG Newsletter.