WHAT IS THE PATIENT REPRESENTATIVE GROUP (PRG)?
The Patient Representative Group at Leach Heath Medical Centre was set up in 2005, to encourage and understand the views of patients regarding the services provided at the practice. The group’s views are sought regarding access to services, and the effect of NHS changes on the practice. The main aims and objectives of the group are to extend patient involvement, share experiences and provide feedback, identify areas with scope for improvement, supporting change and highlighting excellence. It is an open membership group that encourages involvement and attendance from all areas of the practice community.
STEPS TO ENSURE GROUP WAS REPRESENTATIVE/REASONS FOR DIFFERENCE IN GROUP AND PRACTICE PROFILE
The Patient Reference Group has been advertised by posters in the waiting room. Take up has been limited, and therefore the receptionists were advised of the age ranges and target groups that we wished to join the group. During a two week period, the receptionists verbally advised as many patients as possible (both face to face and via the telephone when appropriate) that we were seeking new participants for the group. Flyers were also handed out at reception. We had a relatively low uptake for all of the age ranges and ethnic groups, so were actively trying to attract all interested patients. Many patients indicated that they would be interested in joining the group, but did not attend the meetings. We tried to determine whether the time of the meetings was inconvenient, but most patients indicated that they had forgotten, or could not make it that time but would attend next time. Again, there was not much improvement in patient’s attendance at the meetings. Leaflets asking new patients if they might be interested in joining our patient group are attached in our new patient pack. We personally invited patients of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, patients with long term conditions, carers, those with a disability and mothers with young children in order to obtain views from the wider practice population. We are pleased that we currently have patients meeting the above criteria actively attending the Reference Group meetings. The group is not representative in terms of percentage per age group/ethnic group, but we are hopeful that the number of participants will increase as time goes on. We will continue to offer personal invitations to patients in order to form a more representative patient group.
Interim Chair – SP. Participants: KH, RH,JA,JH,VR,KN