There are several aims of the project the Patients Association has been working with Herts and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) on.

  • Improving the diversity and reach of Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in the area
  • Engaging local communities for the benefit of patients and GP practices
  • Improving general practice staff's understanding of what co-production and patient /public engagement means and how to do this effectively
  • Improving services for patients as a result of this work.

GP Practice Patient Groups in Hertfordshire and West Essex

All GP surgeries have a patient group but some are more active than others. 

This often involves a small group of patients registered with the practice who liaise and meet with staff, support a partnership approach and provide a link to other patients. 

Most practices also have a wider patient network through which they communicate, gather feedback and share information and invitations to meetings and other activities. This network can also connect with the wider community and this is often virtual. Patients registered with a practice can be involved in a variety of ways, no particular skills or experience are needed.

More information about your practice's group can be found on individual GP surgery websites. You can find your practice's contact details from the ICB's website or email the ICB Engagement team ([email protected]) for more information. 

The work being done with the Patients Association has created several resources, which can be accessed through the Association's website.

Choose from

Why GP practices and Primary Care Networks need patient groups

    Step-by-step guide to establishing a GP patient group

    Reasons to have a patient group and what’s in it for the GP practice and patients

    Effectively working together in partnership

    Recruitment, increasing diversity and communicating with the wider patient population

    Supporting volunteer members of PPGs

    How Patient Participation Groups can support interventions to tackling healthcare inequalities

    Communicating with the wider patient population

    Getting PPGs involved in research

    Health views of young people.

    You can also access some of the tools and resources some of the patient groups have created for their patients and communities.

    Parkwood and Much Hadham Patient groups have created the following videos and posters:

    Other resources and toolkits

    Other organisations also offer support for patient and community members interested in supporting and influencing their local practice and wider community:

    The National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP). NAPP is a membership organisation which supports patients to work with their practice and influence services.   All their member resources are now accessed through  their online community platform.

    FutureNHS. A collaboration platform for people working in health and social care. Members of the platform can join or create workspaces and communities to connect with others, learn and share.

    There is an NHS England Patient Group Champions’ Group that meets every two months to discuss good practice in primary care community engagement, and how NHS England can support this. For more information on how to join the group email [email protected].

    NHS England Public Participation Online Learning Programme. Sessions hosted on this site are about working in partnership with people and communities. They are aimed at people working in or with NHS organisations in engagement activity with people and communities.

    This video describes 10 things to consider when working to involve communities in your work. It was developed by NHS England, with support from the Patients Association, Healthwatch England and National Voices.

    15th August 2023