There are three localities; Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield, each with a Patient Reference Group (PRG) that meets monthly. GP Practices have Practice Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and representatives from each of these PPGs attend a locality based Patient Reference Group meeting to bring matters to the table and represent the views of their GP Practice and its surrounding community. There is also an opportunity for the locality PRGs across the whole of the DDES area to meet ‘in common’ on a quarterly basis to share views.
In this way Patient Reference Groups provide an opportunity for patient representatives to influence the design and delivery of health care services across the Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (DDES CCG). They provide an opportunity to enable patients, carers and members of the public to contribute to the identification of local healthcare priorities and the commissioning of local health care services. Patient Reference Groups support the CCG with engagement projects and give feedback to ensure things are written in plain English, non jargon and are clear.
We have been able to support the applications for members in the past to take up places on the North East Leadership Academies ‘Patient Leadership‘ programme. This has helped enhance the skills and knowledge of members as well as being able to share their learning with other members of the group.
PRGs also provide an accountability mechanism, linking DDES CCG practices and their local populations.
Patient Reference Groups also play an important role in the governance of the CCG. The three PRG Chairs meet quarterly with the CCGs Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement and the CCGs Engagement Team. The chairs also sit on the CCG Governing Body as non-voting members.
Please see full Terms of Reference here.
PRG members induction
All members are given an induction pack when the join a PRG. The induction pack is in the process of being updated by volunteers from each locality PRG and this will be uploaded once it has been agreed with members.
PRG in Common
Every quarter the PRG in Common meets. This group is made up of members from the members of each DDES locality. Members of the Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) are also invited to attend. Over the past twelve months members have been involved in many projects such as the consultation on Improving 7 day Access to Primary Care Services, Stroke Rehabilitation, care navigation and developing the CCG website to ensure that it is written in plain English and is clear and accessible.
Angela Seward representing Barnard Castle Surgery:
Angela joined Durham Dales PRG in February 2015 and in July 2015, she was asked by Barnard Castle Surgery if she would speak at a meeting of patients to try and start up a PPG for the Surgery. Twelve patients were successfully recruited and their first PPG Meeting was held in September 2015. Angela is Chair of Barnard Castle Surgery PPG Group and is proud to say that they still get a full cohort of members turning up to each meeting.
Angela is into her second three year term of office as an Elected Governor at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In March 2017, she was elected the Lead Governor for our 33 governors on the Trust’s Governing Body.
During her working life, she held a number of posts, the most rewarding of which was teaching adults with mental and learning disabilities, demanding a high degree of patience, empathy, effective team-working and good communication.
Susan Mole, representing Marlborough Practice:
Sue has been a volunteer with the CCG, and the Primary Care Trust before that, for over ten years. Working on various health committees as a lay member helping to bring us Saint John’s Health Centre. She has also been the Secretary of Marlborough Surgery Patient Practice Group for seven years. Sue also Chaired the Breathe Easy East Durham working with the British Lung Foundation and has been Secretary of Seaham Physically Disabled Club since 1998. Sue has said that her own health problems since childhood and her husband’s disability has made her passionate about the health care of her community within Easington.
Chris Cunnington Shore, representing Peaseway Surgery:
This is Chris’s third year as the Chair of the Sedgefield Locality Patient Reference Group and his second year as an invited member of the Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body. Having retired from a career in Health, he wanted to support the local healthcare delivery within the locality and joined his local Practice Patient Group.