Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

8. Evidence submitted by Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust PPI Forum (PPI 13)

What is the purpose of patient and public involvement?

  PPI Forums have statutory powers which allow them to provide a valuable independent perspective on services provided by the Trust. This should continue in any new arrangements.

What form of patient and public involvement is desirable, practical and offers good value for money?

Why are existing systems for patient and public involvement being reformed after only three years?

  To allow one Forum to monitor all the health services provided to a community in place of separate Forums being concerned with hospitals, primary care services, ambulances, special needs and so on.

How should LINks be designed, including:

Remit and level of independence

  To look after the needs of patients and the public by monitoring services independently.

Membership and appointments/Funding and support

  In our view LINks should be composed of an amalgamation of existing PPI Forums to which are added people concerned with health and social care services and cultures not currently represented. The Forums could, at least initially, form sub-committees of the main body and continue their close association with their Trusts.

  We believe that the Strategic Health Authority which is responsible for the health services in a community would be the appropriate body to appoint members and to fund LINks.

Areas of focus

  The welfare of patients and the public, including those with special needs.

Statutory powers

  To inspect all premises providing NHS care (including private hospitals with Trust contracts) and to submit reports to the appropriate Trust. The Trust must respond to recommendations wthin a specified time as under the present system.

Relations with local health Trusts

  To expect full co-operation in respect of investigations, action on recommendations and to invite patient and public representatives to sit on their Committees as appropriate.

National coordination

  There needs to be at least a regional, if not a national co-ordinating body. We believe that Strategic Health Authorities should be involved at regional level.

How should LINks relate to and avoid overlap with:

Local Authority structures including Overview and Scrutiny Committee

  Submit reports to and receive reports from the OSC. Patient and public representatives should be invited to sit on the Committees.

Foundation Trust boards and Members Councils

Inspectorates including the Healthcare Commission

  To receive its reports and act on deficiencies highlighted.

Formal and informal complaints procedures

  To receive regular reports from PALS, ICAS and any others to indicate deficiencies which need to be investigated.

In what circumstances should wider public consultation (including under Section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001) be carried out and what form should this take?

  We believe that the SHA is the appropriate body to instigate wider consultation, perhaps advised by Patient and Public Involvement bodies

Alex Nunes


Dr Michael Essex-Lopresti


Barnet and Chase Farm PPI Forum

15 December 2006

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