Representatives from the RCGP, the BMA, the DoH, NHS Alliance and the National Association for Patient Participation came together in central London yesterday to establish a network of the groups.
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said PPGs would give practices an independent voice that could protect them from government criticism and enable them to influence health policy.
‘I want the novelty of patient power that actually works – where the output of the PPG is listened to not only by the practice but by the health service,’ he said.
Around 40% of practices currently have a PPG. Richard MaCrae, a patient and PPG member in Warrington, Cheshire, said his PCT rescinded plans to radically reorganise health services after his group raised concerns.
NHS Alliance chairman Mike Dixon said the groups would prove ‘twice as important’ to practices as the costly patient surveys, the results of which have recently been called into question by the BMA.
Comment below and tell us what you think