2. Patient Reference Group (PRG)

A Patient Reference Group (previously referred to as Patient Participation Group by the previous Government) is a forum for patients to play their role in the delivery of their healthcare. Most PRGs operate within GP surgeries and their focus is on local needs and interests of patients.

Government health policies are formulated centrally and at the community level, services are organised by primary care trusts in conjunction with other agencies such as acute hospital trusts and social services. However, there are often deficiencies in the delivery of healthcare services and sometimes the policies themselves are flawed. In these situations, the importance of PRGs cannot be underestimated as they represent the collective sounding board for the NHS.

A robust PRG therefore ensures that the services as provided for by statute are appropriately available by the GP practice. It also ensures that the quality of care by the GP practice is maintained and unhindered by defective management. The range of PRG activities include:

• Strategic support for the GP practice

• Promoting liaison between healthcare professionals and patients

• Information provision

• Volunteer services

• Fundraising




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