PPG Offer of support


NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is committed to putting the needs of people living in Lancashire and South Cumbria at the heart of all we do. Our vision to put people at the centre is based on the understanding that engaged and involved residents make best use of services to support their health and wellbeing and this will help to drive down health inequalities in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Public involvement and listening to all of our communities is an essential part of making sure effective and efficient health and care services are delivered. By reaching, listening to, involving and empowering our people and communities, we can make sure they are at the heart of decision making.

It is important to add that the NHS has a clear commitment to working with wider system partners, such as GP practices, essentially throughout its approach to public involvement. There is a clear commitment for the ICB to support, facilitate and co-ordinate public involvement activity.

PPGs can help GPs to develop an equal partnership with their patients. They can help them to communicate accurately and honestly with individual patients, and with the wider community about key health matters. They can also help to reduce costs and improve services by identifying changes that the practice may not have considered, allowing resources to be used more efficiently. What is more, they can develop mutually supportive networks for patients and the practice, outside of individual appointments.

However, to allow PPGs to make real, constructive changes to the provision of services at general practice level, it is imperative that PPGs and the GPs and their practice staff work collaboratively and not only develop relationships with their patients but between themselves. Developing a relationship of mutual support between practice staff and PPG members is absolute key.



This plan has been developed to indicate the level of support the engagement team at Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB can offer GP practices and their PPG to implement real, positive change in their communities. PPGs have an increasingly important role to play in helping to give patients a say in the way services are delivered to best meet their needs, and the needs of the local community.



We recognise the NHS would not run as efficiently as it does without its army of volunteers. We know the difference they make, from improving patient experience to allowing more time for doctors and their practice staff to concentrate on clinical care. It is important that the NHS invests the time in providing support to volunteers.

The ICB’s engagement team want to work in partnership with you in whatever way we can and offer as much support as possible. In return, we (the ICB engagement team) would be grateful for you helping us to understand any issues locally and feed back any insight which will help us improve services.

Below is the level of support we can offer you at this point. 

PPG recruitment:

The ICB can help support recruitment to your PPG through a variety of channels, including:

  • Social media – The ICB has an active Facebook page but also still manages the former CCG pages. This ensures that messages can be localised to individual areas. In this instance, these messages would be generic to joining a PPG as it wouldn’t be realistic to promote individual PPGs in this way. A schedule of planned posts would be developed which can be shared with PPGs/practices for sharing on their own pages in addition to the ICB.
  • ICB stakeholders – the ICB has quite an extensive list of stakeholders / partners / organisations including other NHS organisations, community groups and the voluntary sector. As well as using the monthly stakeholder newsletter, the ICB engagement team would contact these directly with some narrative asking them to share and promote amongst their own networks.
  • Citizens’ Panel – this is a database of residents who live or work in Lancashire and South Cumbria, who have volunteered to take part in regular research and questionnaires. It is a valuable way for the NHS to receive feedback from a sample of our population and give local residents the opportunity to share their opinions and views on local health and care services. Currently, the ICB has over 1,300 members of whom are communicated to regularly including by monthly newsletter. We would urge all practice staff and PPG members to sign up to this, as well as promote it amongst their patients. 
  • Local engagement events – regular engagement takes place amongst the residents of Lancashire and South Cumbria, whether online or face to face. This would be the ideal opportunity to promote PPGs and how people can sign up with their registered GP practice. 
  • Listening events – the ICB has a schedule of ‘listening events’ planned over the next 2 years at least. These are being held in areas throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria for people who are interested in influencing how NHS services work. Each event has senior leaders from the ICB to share information and answer relevant questions. Again, another opportunity to promote PPGs and how attendees can get involved.
  • ICB website – although the ICB website has a Get Involved page there is currently no information relating to PPGs. A page will be developed with generic information about PPGs and advising people to check their registered practice website for more information about how they can join their own PPG.

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference can set out the working arrangements for a group and can list vital information about the group, such as its purpose, chair and membership, meeting schedule, and level of administrative support. We can help you draw up terms of reference for your PPG.


The ICB has access to a survey tool called Smart Survey. This allows us to create online surveys and questionnaires and collect and analyse data. We can support you with designing a survey and generating a report for you on closure of the survey. 


We can share national toolkits with you – alternatively you can download your own resources and in some instances order print materials at the campaign Resource Centre and Health Publications

In addition, if required, we can create and share a yearly calendar of awareness events ie cancer awareness days, so you are aware
of, and can plan ahead, any public health messages and promotional opportunities.

Annual or bi-annual PPG network conference

This will be planned for all of the PPGs across Lancashire and South Cumbria to come together, network and share best practice. It will be held online or, ICB budget allowing, in a central location so members can meet face to face. Opportunity will be given for key speeches from existing PPGs. However, this is your conference so you will need to give us some ideas and tell us what it is you would like to see included.

Learning webinars

You tell us if you would like support in learning and we will endeavour to see if we can meet your requests. This could be things such as writing content for your web page, how to craft a press release, how to make a video / edit, designing a survey, analysing results, how to manage your social media, or conducting conversations with patients.

Share local events for you to attend/promote

We often get notification of local events taking place relating to health and wellbeing. 

Peer support

We can link you in with other PPG chairs/networks across Lancashire and South Cumbria if you require any peer support or advice for example. 


Young people

Providing opportunities for young people to shape and improve services is a vital part of ensuring the needs of all service users are met. They have a critical role to play in the challenges that the NHS faces. We must ensure they value the NHS and they are active participants in shaping their lives and directing their futures. Despite this, engaging young people in health care service design remains a challenge, although we know they are interested in participation. 

Some of the barriers perceived by young people is the fear of being judged for their views or that they may find it boring. We need to make it easier for them to have their voice heard and ensure they are given sufficient opportunity to speak when participating so they feel they are being listened to, and that they can make a difference.

We would like to support you in recruiting more young people to become members of your PPG, whether that is as part of your main PPG or an offshoot of the main group. We want to develop a more inclusive health system and help bring about innovative service improvement.

The ICB engagement team will work with you in how this can be achieved and develop a plan based on the actions above.

If we find this is unsuccessful but you need to reach young people in any of the work you carry out as a PPG, such as a survey, we can help you do this. We have a database of colleges, youth groups, and community groups for example