Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

106. Evidence submitted by Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare Trust PPI Forum (PPI 44)

How should LINKs be Designed

Remit and level of independence


    —  Reflect local concerns and help shape local services.

    —  LINKs wishing to work with and be associated with hospitals should be able to do so.

    —  LINKS associated with hospitals should monitor the services provided within the hospital but keep in touch and work with pre and post hospital services provided by NHS and Local Authorities.

    —  Work jointly with other PPI LINKs eg PCT based LINKs.

    —  Engage with the public at every opportunity—concentrating on issues relating to the hospital but passing on other issues to appropriate LINKS.


    —  Complete independence of any statutory body.

    —  Support organisations should be independent too.

Membership and Appointment


    —  With an interest in improving local health services and with time to spare.

    —  Willing to deal with a fair amount of paperwork—reading documents, helping to produce reports, etc.

    —  Willing to meet and talk to groups and people in the community (engaging with the public).


    —  Should be undertaken by an independent body that really understands the role of LINKs—what it means to be a member and what is expected.

    —  Appointees should be able to assess and preclude inappropriate applicants, eg, those with prejudices.

    —  Appointments should be made simple and the process carried out speedily and efficiently.

Funding and Support


    —  From central government.

    —  Sufficient.


    —  Support as provided by a good FSO who knows the patch and understands the role of the LINKs.

Areas of Focus

    —  Hospital based LINKs should focus on the needs to maintain a good service for its patients.

    —  They also need to understand the needs of the local health economy and the Hospital's relationship to the whole. Therefore the Focus may well need to shift outside the Trust—eg.

    —  LINKs would still need to focus on the views of its local community.

Statutory Powers

    —  Are essential—without them LINKs could be ignored.

Relations with local Health Trusts

    —  Statutory powers will help to strengthen the links with local Health Trusts.

    —  Hospital based LINKs would need to develop a working relationship with their Trust or continue with the relationship previously developed by the PPI Forum.

National Co-ordination is an absolute necessity

    —  Maybe undertaken by Healthcare Commission.

How should LINKS Relate to and Avoid Overlap with

LA structures and OSCs

    —  Communicate through support team.

    —  Important to keep a good relationship with OSC—two way traffic needed.

Foundation Trust Boards and Member Councils

  It is questionable whether there would be a role for Hospital based LINK when its Hospital becomes a Foundation Trust.

Inspectorates including Healthcare Commission

  Assume Healthcare Commission would be the major body monitoring the performance of LINKs.

Shirley Kenneally

Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare Trust PPI Forum

January 2007

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