Patient Engagement Patient Partnership Group (PPG)

P3 is now recruiting lay and patient members

The RCGP recognises that the patient viewpoint is important in the development of general practice. The aim of the Patient Partnership Group (PPG) is to be an active College group promoting partnership between patients and general practitioners in primary health care and highlighting patient concerns and needs.

The work of the College’s Patient Partnership Group

The group’s main role for the College is that of ‘critical friend’. It provides a patient and carers perspective at a wide range of College meetings and encourages and supports the College in involving patients in their own care. The Group’s Terms of Reference are here: PPG Terms of Reference 2009

The RCGP Patient Partnership Groups does not provide advice on how to set up a Patient Partnership Group in your local practice. However, if you want advice on how to do this the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) can help.


The PPG is composed of 8 lay members and 5 GP members.

The lay members are appointed following advertisement of vacancies and interviews. Members are appointed from various backgrounds and experience. Here is the role description and a list of current members [TBC].

The Honorary Secretary seeks nominations for GP members through Faculties and Council networks. At least one GP member is usually a member of Council.

Patient Information

The College has developed the following resources for patients:

Patient Partnership

The patient is at the heart of all College activity. At the hub of healthcare and embedded in the community, general practice can mean so much to so many people, therefore, listening to the patient voice is an imperative.

The voice

The Patient Partnership Group (PPG) represents the patient voice for the College as a whole. Each of the three devolved countries also has its own group that endeavour to support and represent the patient. 

Patients in Practice (PiP) operate in Northern Ireland, Patient Partnership in Practice (P3) in Scotland and Patient Partnership in Practice (PPiP) in Wales. Sharing similar aims, values and goals, all the groups work in accordance with overarching College strategies.


The aims of P3 are to:

  1. Develop ideas and leading activities that encourage GPs to work in partnership most effectively with patients and public
  2. Influence activity in Scotland that impacts on the quality of patient care
  3. Work together as a team to ensure the activities of the College respond to patient needs.

Group members attend P3 meetings, actively focus on specific outputs, strategic recommendations, and champion the use of patient groups in General Practice. They do this by contributing to projects with partners and stakeholders, and by the College’s work with Scottish Government. This includes regularly responding to consultations, and highlighting the patient voice in the media, where appropriate. 

P3 have a link to RCGP Scotland’s leadership, the Scottish Council, and the P3 Chair regularly appraises Council of P3 activity and progress. P3 has a virtual voice, which any patient can enrol with RCGP Scotland to become a member of our dedicated discussion and response forum. Virtual patients correspond by email giving their responses to consultations and suggestions for improving patient care. The group is led by a member of P3, who provides the contact between the virtual and actual Group.

In recent years, P3 has worked on a range of project based work including:

  • Developing a toolkit for GPs to support and identify Carers
  • Produced guidance for GPs to support patients who had suffered rape or sexual abuse
  • Working with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on a joint poster campaign to encourage patients to use the free minor ailments service within Pharmacies
  • Research project in all GPs practices to assess the availability and effectiveness of patients groups within Practices.

P3 Carers Resource page provides useful links to further information.


The RCGP Wales Patient Partnership in Practice group provides advice and guidance on a range of medical issues in line with its following stated aims:

  • Identify and develop ideas together and lead activities which encourage GPs to work in partnership most effectively with patients and the public
  • Influence and respond to activity in Wales that impacts of the quality of patient care
  • Work together as a team to ensure that activities of College respond to patient needs
  • Foster and support links with other RCGP Patient Partnership Groups.

The development of the PPiP work plan is linked to the Strategic aims of RCGP Wales and aims to increase patient involvement by working with other patient groups within RCGP, promoting and supporting the establishment of patient groups within GP practices and scoping work around developing links between practices working with the homeless and vulnerable adults.

RCGP Northern Ireland Patients in Practice Group

The Patients in Practice (PiP) Group is an active and important part of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland, highlighting patient views and interests. Membership is comprised of lay and GP members, working together to promote patient involvement within primary health care.

The PiP Group’s aims are:

  • To work closely with members and staff of RCGPNI to deliver its patient involvement objective
  • To continue to promote the aims and objectives of PiP by engaging effectively and directly with key stakeholders.
  • To encourage patient involvement by facilitating the formation of new patient participation groups within General Practice in N.I.
  • To identify, seek approval and deliver on identified projects in line with RCGPNI Council objectives.

The Group has recently been involved with stakeholder engagement. Over the past year, they have met with a variety of organisations to discuss patient involvement, including all five of the NI Health and Social Care Trust Patient Involvement leads, the Public Health Agency and the General Medical Council.

The Group will also be looking at how they can encourage and promote the establishment of patient participation groups in practices. This will include the continued promotion of their guidelines ‘Patient Participation Groups – Getting Started’ for those practices wanting to set up a Patient Participation Group.

To obtain a copy of the guidelines, select the following link:

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