Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

patient participation groups

What are patient participation groups (PPGs)?

In Somerset there are approximately 70 PPGs, based in GP surgeries throughout the county that are made up of patients and practice staff.  

They meet regularly and act as “critical friends” to their respective surgery, looking at how the surgery currently works, objectives set for the coming year and how they can help to achieve those objectives.  

Some of the PPGs are virtual, this means that members are able to partake online without attending the surgery.  

If you are interested in joining your local PPG  and getting involved in shaping NHS health services within Somerset, contact your GP surgery for details.

PPG Chairs Network

Meeting quarterly in either Yeovil or Taunton, the chairs of each of the Somerset PPGs discuss the work of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and give feedback on current issues in commissioning which is fed back to the CCG Governing Body.


Patient or carer representatives - how you can get involved

Would you like to volunteer to be a patient or carer representative?  You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Represent the interests of your community at the quarterly SEAG (Somerset Engagement Advisory Group) meetings. Contact Lee Reed, Quality, Equality and Engagement Lead at Somerset CCG on or call 01935 381933 for further details on SEAG;
  • Become a Healthwatch volunteer. Contact Karen Ball at Healthwatch Somerset (Evolving Communities) on;
  • Participate online and through social media;
  • Join and have a voice through your GP practice's patient participation group (PPG). Contact your surgery for further details;
  • Attend and/or ask questions at the CCG's Governing Body meetings which are held in public. Contact Kathy Palfrey on for further details of Governing Body Meetings; and
  • Share your own experiences as patients and carers so that commissioners and service providers can learn from them.  Contact Sue Lilley on for further details on sharing your own NHS patient experience.

We have recently updated our Lay User Policy (and the one page summary). This is a document explaining how the CCG works with patient and carer representatives and members of the public who volunteer to work with us on the planning, design, development and commissioning of health services.

Patient engagement weekly bulletin

Would you like to keep informed about changes and developments in the NHS?  Would you like to make your voice heard?  If so, then click here to read our weekly news bulletin for patients, carers and members of the public  or alternatively you can have it emailed to you by joining the circulation list by emailing

If you are involved in your community in Somerset and would like to submit information about relevant events, meetings and activities for our bulletin, please email Sue Lilley at

Patients' NHS experiences

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group regularly presents patient and carer stories to our Governing Body and for training purposes so that learning points can be identified, areas for improvement can be discussed and clinical commissioners can gain a deeper understanding of the barriers and issues faced by real patients and carers when they use health services.  

In the past, patients and carers have described the impact of their long terms conditions, the end of life experiences of their family members, how they have adopted healthy lifestyles, their experience of bereavement and of elective care services.  Their stories have been very powerful learning tools for the CCG and we are keen to continue to capture the experiences of patients and carers in Somerset. 

If you or a member of your family have recently used an NHS health service in the county, please consider sharing it with us.  You can do this in a face-to-face meeting, on the phone or by email, whichever is most convenient for you.  

Once we have written up your story, we will ask you to check it for accuracy and you will have the right to amend / correct / add to it before anyone else sees it.  We will not share your story until we have your consent to do so.  If you prefer, we will not share your name when we write up your story, so you can choose to remain anonymous.  We are of course interested in hearing both negative and positive stories as we can learn from both types of experiences. 

If you would be willing to tell us more, please email

Somerset Engagement Advisory Group (SEAG)

The Somerset Engagement Advisory Group (SEAG) is a group of our community stakeholders – mainly voluntary and community sector organisations, patient and carer representatives, Healthwatch, the county council and some of the health service providers.  

They come together quarterly to scrutinise, challenge and support the CCG’s work on public engagement and equality and diversity.  The meetings are also about exchanging information and networking – to this end, we usually have a presentation from one of the SEAG members about their own area of work.  

At recent meetings, the focus has been on a wide variety of things, ranging from advocacy, LGBT experiences of services, changes in commissioning, the new primary care strategy, end of life support and care, how referrals work in the health service, our approach to equality, and carers’ services.  

Please contact Lee Reed, Quality, Equality & Engagement Lead at Somerset CCG for further information on

How the NHS works

The King's Fund has produced an alternative guide to how the NHS in England works. It's a whislte-stop tour of how the NHS works in 2017 and how it is changing.

View the video on the King's Fund website

See also

Get involved

Consultations and engagement

Healthwatch Somerset

Engagement Bulletins

Local meetings and events

Photo of Bridgwater PPG cancer event 01-06-13
Bridgwater PPG cancer event


Contact Somerset CCG by phone or email:

01935 384000


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