Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160-165)
SIR WILLIAM WELLS AND DR ROGER MOORE
WEDNESDAY 15 MAY 2002
160. Who is going to do that?
(Sir William Wells) We have had lately discussions with ministers about this because of the huge volume of numbers concerned and Dr Moore can tell you what the latest situation is.
(Dr Moore) Our understanding is that this probably can be done by the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health or their agents, but not by the Commission.
161. Sorry; can you say that again?
(Dr Moore) There is going to be a Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health and they will have overarching responsibility for patients' forums under the Government plans and they will have responsibility for appointments as well. The Appointed Commission will have the responsibility for overseeing the appointment of the elected patient forum non-executive to the trust or PCT board. That will be 600 appointments rather than the
(Sir William Wells) Twenty thousand or something.
(Dr Moore) However many.
(Sir William Wells) We also will be responsible for appointment of the members of the Commission, the CPPIH, and we will also be advising them informally on how they might carry out their other responsibilities.
162. If that member is elected how can you be involved in his appointment?
(Sir William Wells) Because it is written into the Bill, or at least it was when I last heard, that that person then has to go through the same processes that any non-executive has to go through in order to be able to determine that they are non-executive quality material. It is also very clear that that non-executive has exactly the same responsibilities and accountabilities as all the other non-executives. We felt very strongly that it would be unfair to put people on these boards who were taking on the full responsibilities of a non-executive director if they did not have the qualities and the abilities to do so. We will be talking quite closely to the chairmen of the patient fora when they are set up in order to explain to them the qualities and skills which have to be displayed by their elected member. Clearly what we do not want to do is to find ourselves rejecting large numbers of these elected people so we would like to get in early and make sure that they are properly qualified.
Dr Naysmith: That raises all sorts of issues.
163. It raises issues of patient councils as well.
(Sir William Wells) The whole thing. We have got patient councils as well.
164. Maybe this has been answered already, but there is automatic notification of MPs. What other bodies are automatically notified?
(Sir William Wells) Chief Executive of the relevant local authority and the head of the voluntary services co-ordinating body.
(Dr Moore) The Commissions for Voluntary Services locally are notified and quite often various ethnic minority groups in an area.
165. You say "quite often". Is there not a set standard?
(Dr Moore) No. It depends on the representation of the particular area.
(Sir William Wells) If there is very low or non-existent representation there is nobody to notify.
Chairman: I am going to ask the public to withdraw and all members here who are not party to the Committee. Could our witnesses withdraw briefly while we are briefed by the Clerk on procedure? Can I, before you go, express the thanks of the Committee formally for your appearance today. It has been a very interesting session. We are very grateful for your attendance and we look forward to you coming again before too long. Thank you very much.