Terms of Reference

 1.       Purpose of the Group

  • To encourage and support co-operation between the Practice and its Patients to improve the quality of care;
  • To provide a forum for discussing issues arising from current practice;
  • Reviewing patient feedback annually as part of a practice led patient survey;
  • To contribute to future developments to secure improvements in the Patient experience.  This will include the provision of constructive feedback on Practice proposals for change and initiating new areas for improvement.
  • To influence the range and location of services provided by the Practice by taking part in commissioning decisions where appropriate.
  • To review relevant new guidance issued by the Department of Health and discuss the implications for Patients and the Practice.
  • To assist the Practice in improving the quality and availability of information for Patients on health care and access to services.  This will include the production of newsletters and leaflets and the development of electronic communication.
  • To help the Practice to organise health promotion events to encourage Patients and Carers to understand and maintain their own health.
  • To assist in the production and distribution of Patient surveys and the review of results including input to and monitoring of any subsequent change.

 2.     Membership

Membership to the Group is voluntary.  Members are selected by co-option or self-nomination.

The Group will endeavour to represent patients in proportion to:

  • the number of Patients in each Practice;
  • sex;
  • age group;
  • ethnicity [1]

In addition it will have at least one carer representative and representatives from both River Lodge Surgery and Ringmer Surgery.

In the event that projects are undertaken on specific disease or condition a sub-group will be formed under a specific member of the group and additional relevant Patients will be invited to take part.

The Group will consist of:

  • Patient representatives from the River Lodge and Ringmer Practices;
  • GP partner;
  • Practice Manager.

A Chairperson, Secretary (and Treasurer, when required) is to be selected by the Group members.  The members elected for these roles will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Members ceasing to be registered at the Surgery will automatically cease to be members of the PPG.  If a member is disruptive or uncooperative within the group, they may be asked to resign by the Chairperson after consultation with the group.  

 3.       Meetings

  • The Group will endeavour to meet no less than four times a year.
  • Place of meetings will be alternated between River Lodge Surgery and Ringmer Surgery.
  • The quorum for any meeting will be five or more members (including the Chairperson).
  • Any action points agreed by the group will be done so on a majority vote basis and there will need to be a quorum of 5 members for any motion to be carried. If there are not enough members at the meeting for a majority decision the task will be carried forward to the next meeting.   The votes of patient members will be treated equally.
  • Any decisions relating to changes to the surgery’s services, facilities, operations and any other points which may impact on the day to day running of the surgery or its reputation, will need approval from the Practice Manager and GP partner.  On occasions it may be necessary for the practice members to seek approval from all practice partners before implementing change.

 4.       Meeting Ground Rules

  • Group meetings are not a forum for individual complaints and single issues;
  • We advocate open and honest communication and challenge between individuals;
  • We will be flexible, listen, ask for help and support each other;
  • We will demonstrate a commitment to delivering results, as a group;
  • Silence indicates agreement – speak up, but always go through the chair;
  • All members are equally important and all options should be respected;
  • No phones or other disruptions;
  • We will start and finish on time and stick to the agenda;
  • Matters discussed within the room should be assumed confidential unless otherwise stated.

 5.       Confidentiality

All members of the group will be expected to sign a Confidential Agreement whereby they agree to adhere to strict rules of confidentiality.

 6.       General

  • The Secretary will prepare the minutes of each meeting and forward them to the members within 14 days of each meeting.  Where any action is required by a member this is to be indicated in the minutes.
  • Minutes of all PPG meetings, reports and survey results will be made publicly available via the Practice website.
  • Any agenda items for forthcoming meetings are to be forwarded to the Secretary at least five days before the date of the meeting.
  • No remuneration or expenses will be paid unless authorised by The Practice.
  • Views, ideas, suggestions and recommendations formulated by the PPG whether in writing or verbally and agreed in principle by the majority will be presented to The Practice via The Manager or alternatively with a meeting with the doctors and nurses if deemed advisable.
  • All members of the PPG who receive or learn about any confidential information concerning a patient or The Practice must not disclose this information unless they have received express permission from The Practice or The Practice Manager.  Any individual who discloses any confidential information without permission will be suspended until the matter has been satisfactorily resolved.

 5.  Dissolution

The PPG may be dissolved by The Practice for justifiable reasons.  The Practice retains the right to veto PPG activities.

 6.  Review

The Terms of Reference will be reviewed on an annual basis.


[1] The Practice does not hold complete records of Patient ethnicity at present and it is therefore unable to ensure proportionate representation of ethnic groups.



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