Our Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the Operation of Nairn & Ardersier Patients’ Group


N&APG – Nairn & Ardersier Patients’ Group


Membership of the N&APG shall be open and free to all service users of the NHS within the Nairn Hospital locale over the age of 16.


The purpose of this document is to set out the scope of the N&APG, and provide guidance on how the group will function.


N&APG will promote positive improvement in health and social services for the local community by adopting the following key principles:

– openness

– honesty

– transparency

– listening to one another and doing what we say we will

– respecting each other’s contributions and

– joint commitment to ongoing health and social service improvement.


To improve the health and social care of the patients in the area by working in partnership with NHS Highland, the Scottish Health Council, Voluntary Health Scotland and others to identify and implement service improvements.


How will we achieve this aim?


We will:

–   create a group that is representative, equitable and, where possible, covers all sections of the community

–   give patients and service users a voice in the organisation and delivery of their health and social care services

–   agree action plans that should contribute to decision making within local health and social care service provision and development. All objectives will be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART)

–   liaise with NHS Highland, Highland Council to provide feedback on patients’ needs, concerns and interests

–   communicate information within the community that may affect health and social care

–   draw the attention of patients to their responsibilities and their rights

–   promote good health and higher levels of health literacy by encouraging and supporting the promotion of preventive medicine

–   liaise with third sector organisations in the NHS Highlands area including Highland Third Sector Partnership and Signpost

–   support health and social care providers in the area to improve service delivery

     –   identify opportunities to improve the patient experience

–   promote improvements by identifying developments and best practice through local, regional & national networks


We will not:

–   investigate or arbitrate individual complaints – in addition to contacting the NHS, Nairn Healthcare Group or Highland Council directly, patients can obtain support through the Patients Advice and Support Service (PASS) provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau.


– the group’s activities will be organised by a committee of volunteers and invited attendees

– the committee will be formed of no less than six and no more than twelve members

– the committee shall at a minimum consist of a chair, deputy chair, secretary, communications and treasurer to be agreed at the AGM. Other members will be co-opted as required

– when a vacancy arises, appropriate advertising will take place and those involved in the selection process will consider the most appropriate candidate taking into account evidence of how the individual will contribute to:          

– open, honest & constructive debate of patient issues

– the Aim of the N&APG

– supporting fellow group members; acknowledging the commitment of time & energy required


– will take place up to 8 times per year

– in addition to formal meetings, the group may hold “away” days on a range of issues to develop individual and collective competencies, capabilities and skills

Details of the Committee are at Appendix B


–   All of the N&APG’s income shall be used for furthering the aims of the N&APG.

–   The committee shall ensure that proper accounts of the N&APG’s finances shall be kept

–   A bank account is open in the name of the N&APG and three members of the group including the treasurer, are authorised to sign cheques on behalf of the N&APG

–   At least once each year prior to the AGM, the N&APG’s accounts shall be independently examined and a report presented to the AGM

–   The financial year shall be from the 1st of April each year.


The N&APG shall be managed by the committee.

Positions are to be filled by members of the community, elected by the N&APG at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

They should serve for a period of one year and may be elected for a further term or terms (on a yearly rolling basis) if willing and if this is the wish of the N&APG.

The committee shall be responsible for the generation and implementation of policy and for the management of the affairs of the N&APG.

The committee shall meet up to eight times per year.

Details of communication procedures are at Appendix C



The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held each year and must be held within fourteen months of the preceding AGM.

The proceedings of the AGM shall include a report of the work of the N&APG for the preceding year, a report of the financial position, the election of office bearers and the confirmation of members who have joined within the past year. Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson will chair the meeting. AGM will be advertised in local press not less than 21 days before the meeting.



Quorum. The quorum for the N&APG committee meetings shall be four.

The quorum for the N&APG AGM shall be twelve.

An Extraordinary General Meeting should have no less than twelve members present.   An EGM can be called by six members in writing. An EGM will deal with one subject only. Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson will chair the meeting. EGM will be advertised in local press not less than 21 days before the meeting.

Any subject arising at a meeting which requires a vote shall be decided by a simple majority. In the event of a tie, the chair shall have the casting vote.

If a conflict of interest is declared then that member(s) shall retire in order to allow full discussion.

The ‘ten minute rule’ shall apply to meetings, that is, if a topic under discussion over-runs, a member can propose, and another member second, that the continuation of the discussion shall last for no more than ten minutes.

The committee shall ensure that proper minutes shall be kept of all meetings, whether annual, regular or special .



Prior to any public meetings, the following cycle shall be undertaken to ensure a joined-up approach:


20141006-PPG Meeting Press Management.001ENGAGING PATIENTS:

N&APG is a service user organisation. It is fundamental to make sure that the views of the people who use health and social care services in the area have the chance to be heard in order to make effective contributions. N&APG will use a range of mechanisms to enable as wide a cross-section of patients and service users as possible to have the opportunity to express their views and to hear about developments.

  • Face to Face Meetings: meetings where opportunities are taken to update and further engage with patients and other stakeholders. At public meetings two members of the committee will be designated to speak with patients who wish to discuss personal issues/complaints and to advise them of the appropriate organisation to contact/action to take.


  • Website: The website is the primary method of interfacing to the patients who are on-line.


  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter are used as social media tools to raise the N&APG presence through targeted tweets and information provision; they also N&APG to get fast rich content out to stakeholders.

Notice boards: There are notice boards located in the Nairn and Ardersier Surgeries. The Nairn noticeboard is N&APG’s property and is updated as required. Location of the boards is subject to approval of NHG and the premises landlord.


Library Information Points: Information packs will be available in the libraries in Ardersier and Nairn. Location of the folders is subject to discussion with the library. The Nairn Library window display can be booked in advance for a week at a time.

Local partnerships

N&APG continues to identify local groups, charities, support charities and providers willing to distribute information on its behalf: Nairnshire “Noticeboard”, ALISS, Church groups, social groups, rotary, Probis, sports club etc…

Others: venues in the community including Nairn Community and Arts Centre, post offices, retail outlets, village notice boards etc.


     –   meetings should start on time, and keep to time, unless under exceptional circumstances

–   clear objectives should be set for each session with clarity on who should attend

–   meetings should be chaired effectively

–   everyone is responsible for adhering to and promoting the ground rules

–   everyone’s opinions should be heard and respected, but it is OK to disagree

–   we will stick to the agenda whilst starting and finishing on time

–   all comments/discussion should go through the Chair

–   only interrupt for the purpose of clarification

–   everything discussed during the meeting remains confidential unless agreed otherwise

–   if jargon or acronyms are used they should be fully explained

–   everyone is responsible for ensuring the success of the meeting

–   everyone is responsible for removing papers/documents at the end of the meeting, to ensure confidentiality

–   actions should be recapped, recorded and circulated for implementation as soon as possible after the meeting

–   meetings should be evaluated for learning and development