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Patient Participation

PPG Terms of Reference

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PPG Final Report

PPG Annual Report March 2015

PPG Application Form

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Patient Participation Group - Code of Conduct

This guidance aims to ensure that Patient Participation Group (PPG) members are aware of the expectations and responsibilities placed on them and the standards to which they are expected to adhere.

The Code also applies to any co-opted PPG members, volunteers and invitees to meetings.

In this document the PPG will now be referred to as the “Group”.

Introduction

The Group’s effectiveness depends in part on the public’s perception of its reputation and standing.

It is important that, before their appointment, Group members understand what will be expected of them when they undertake this role.  Once appointed, members should act in accordance with this Code.

Before joining, all Group members should sign a declaration stating that they will act in accordance with this Code.  Failure to abide by the Code will be treated seriously and could result in termination of membership.

Values that underpin the work of the Group

Values that underpin the work of the Group include:

Accountability: Everything done by the Group should be able to stand the test of scrutiny by:

  • Service users and staff of the Practice
  • The Public
  • Other interested parties

Integrity: This should be the hallmark of all personal contact between Group members and individual members of the public.

Openness: There should always be sufficient openness of Group activities to promote the confidence of the public.

Personal Conduct

Group members should conduct themselves in a manner which maintains the integrity of the Group and its standing in the community, the NHS and other bodies with which they communicate.

Members are expected to conduct themselves with courtesy and consideration for others, whilst retaining the ability to be constructively critical where this is appropriate.

Members should not use their Group status to gain media or other attention to further their personal, organizational, commercial or party political interests.

Relationships in public life

Group members may come into contact with members of the public in their daily lives and should, of course, take the opportunity to publicize the work of the Group.

However, because of their position on the Group, members may on occasion be asked for specific advice, e.g. on medical matters or potential complaints about the health service.  To protect the reputation of the Group and to ensure that neither Idle Medical Centre nor the individual members runs the risk of legal liability for giving inaccurate information, Group members should not personally take on patients’ queries or complaints but refer them to the appropriate Idle Medical Centre staff member.

Corporate responsibility

Group members have a responsibility to respect and promote the corporate or collective decisions of the Group, even though this may conflict with their personal view.

Group members are, of course, ultimately free to comment as they wish as individuals. However, if they decide to do so they should make it clear that they are expressing their personal view and not the Group’s view. This applies particularly if the Group has yet to decide on an issue or has decided in a way with which they personally disagree.

Impartiality

Members of the Group should always aim to act impartially and not be influenced by personal, social, political and professional or business relationships, and should declare a potential conflict of interest where they may have one.
If such an interest is declared, the member shall not speak (unless requested so to do by the Chair of the meeting, and then only to provide objective information) or vote on that matter.
The member may normally stay in the meeting unless requested to leave by the meeting.

Members should not pursue causes or problems of particular individuals or groups to the exclusion of their wider responsibilities.  Neither should members seek preferential treatment for themselves, their families or friends, nor act in a way that could give the impression that they are doing so.

Confidentiality

Part of the members’ work involves feeding back health service users’ satisfaction with the quality of care and treatment received.  However, for the execution of this function members should not divulge an individual patient’s identity, illness, condition or nature of treatment and should not seek it when receiving feedback from a patient.

Group members may from time to time receive information that is not covered by the NHS Code of Openness (e.g. preliminary working documents from health service bodies produced at the stage of formulating policy, prior to formal consultation and decision making). Members should respect this confidence and not disclose the information to unauthorized persons or bodies without consent of the body which provides the information.

Equal Opportunities

Members’ behaviour should accord with the spirit and the detail of National, and NHS, equal opportunities policies. Racist, sexist, homophobic and other discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

Evidence that this Code of Conduct has been breached will be considered by the Chair and the Vice Chair, who will decide on recommendations for action to be taken.

Members have the right to appeal.

Termination of Membership

Termination of membership will be brought about:

  • Through resignation
  • By failure to attend two consecutive meetings (unless the absence is agreed by the Group)
  • If the Group is of the opinion that it is not in the interest of the Group and/or the Practice, for the person to continue as a member
  • By serious failure to adhere to the Code of Conduct
  • Members will, where appropriate, have the right to appeal.
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