Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

101. Evidence submitted by Warwickshire PPI Forum (PPI 5)

  The PPI Forum has asked me to write to you on their behalf expressing their concerns at the proposed arrangements for Patient and Public Involvement in health when the new LINks take over from the PPI Forums (under the "Stronger Local Voice" Proposals).


  1.1  One of the Forums' major strengths is their right to monitor NHS and NHS funded services, which includes the valuable right to enter and carry out inspections. This right of monitoring and inspection has been used to great effect in Coventry and Warwickshire and without this statutory right, any future organisation would be entirely dependant on whatever information the relevant NHS body cared to pass on. Whilst some concession has been made on this point, we await further clarification.


  2.1  We are also concerned at the structure of the proposed LINks. There is a very real risk that it will be so widespread in its membership that it will become little more than an ineffectual talking shop. At present, Forums develop a yearly workplan which focuses on a few issues important to local patients based on evidence gleaned from our community engagement programme, but this would be impossible with a much larger grouping with many vested interests.

  2.2  Another area of concern is that Children's services are not covered under the proposed arrangements. If the LINks are supposed to cover a much wider range of health and social services, then we feel that this most important area should also be included.


  3.1  Professional and effective support arrangements are essential to the success of PPI Forums as they would be to any future organisation, and the Forums urge that sufficient financial support be available from the DoH to enable this.

  3.2  We feel it is important that any such funding granted to Local Authorities is "ring fenced" to ensure is used solely for the running and support of LINks and is not diverted to other purposes.

David Gee

Chair, Warwickshire PPI Forum—South Warwickshire Locality Committee

19 December 2006

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