Patient Forum (the PPG)

What is the Patient Forum, also known as the Patient Participation Group (PPG)?

The PPG is the official term used throughout the NHS, but it might be better described as the Patient Forum. It comprises volunteer patients registered with the Practice who are prepared to spend a couple of hours each month in partnership with the Clinicians and staff within the practice.  The objective is to provide feedback to the Practice which helps to improve services and to achieve consistently high quality and responsive care. 

Such a forum is an essential and valued part of all Symphony Practices and helps them understand what the patient experience is really like and how we can best achieve any changes and improvements identified. Our forum usually meets on a monthly basis and always has the Practice Manager attending as well as clinical staff if available. We discuss the current activity at the Practice, foreseen challenges and developments for the future as well as suggestions to assist from a patient perspective. We have a great team of enthusiasts to put forward ideas and suggestions and to ask questions on behalf of all patients to support understanding. Our major objective is to assist the Practice in communicating with all patients over how to get the best service possible within the resources available.

We have a nominated Chair and Secretary who determine the agenda and distribute the minutes of each meeting, which are also published in the drop-down menu on this page.

We are always looking for patients to join and share their views with the forum.  In particular, we would like to increase the representation for younger patients and families.  The wider the range of patient representation that we have within the Patient Forum, the better and more relevant will be its effectiveness

All patients registered with the Practice have the opportunity and are encouraged to join the PPG and if after reading a little about us you would like to join, please contact us via

Please note that whilst a PPG member can take forward a patient's concerns, they cannot deal with a complaint. A complaint must be directed through the Hamdon Practice Complaints Procedure.

Meet the Patient Participation Group

Our elected PPG representatives have a wide range of knowledge and experience as well as good lines of communication to the Practice Manager and clinical staff at Hamdon Medical Centre.  They are here to assist you with any questions or suggestions you may have over the running of the Centre.

Chairman: Andrew Elfick

Andrew trained as a Business Systems Analyst and worked in the financial industry for several years before starting a small Management Consultancy specialising in change and project management.  He moved from South East London to the Somerset Levels in 2002 before moving into South Petherton in 2018.  He has been active with Hamdon PPG from that time.

Please feel free to contact Andrew by using the address

Vice Chair: Peter Gartrell

Actuarial studies and designing group pensions led to board appointments at a Lloyds Brokerage and a leading UK insurer.  Following work with a French Management Consultancy he established his own firm & subsequently relocated to his wife's family home at Cricket St Thomas and, today, Norton.  Apart from the PPG, he sits on the Parish Council & volunteers at Barrington Court.

Secretary: Jan Langley

Jan trained as a nurse in Leicester in the 70's and lived in Plymouth for many years, she spent the last 10 years working as a Medical Secretary in Primary Care before moving to Somerset in 2017.