Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

130. Evidence submitted by John Kapp (PPI 31)

What is the purpose of PPI?

  1.  To solicit the help of patients in the creation of a "patient-led" NHS, to make it similar to every other service industry.

 What form of PPI is desirable, practical and offers good value for money?

  The main legislative change needed is to give PPI representatives more power. They need statutory rights to sit on, speak and vote on all NHS committees concerned with patient care including the think tanks of the CEOs. Managers could find them valuable allies in their battles with doctors.

  From their committee positions, patients have a disproportionate effect whether the say anything or not. The mere presence of a patient is a reminder of who the committee is there to serve. They could also participate in true "consultation", as nothing can be hidden from them. At times they have to be a crumb in the bed or even a thorn in the flesh drawing attention to doctors' arrogant attitudes.

  Patient representatives need support in what is a tough job. On each committee there should always be establishment for at least two patient representatives, so that they can support each other. If for any reason a PPI rep cannot be present at any meeting, he should have power to appoint a deputy or a substitute so that there is never a vacant chair. They also need good secretarial service, as presently provided by CPPIH and the Forum Support Organisations.

  PPI representatives need to be able to stand their own corner in meetings where they are not welcome. The more that they can be trained in the issues mentioned above, the better they will be prepared for the antagonism that is bound to occur at their presence.

Why are existing systems for PPI being reformed after only three years?

  In my experience, those leading CPPIH and the PPI Forum support organisations did not understand what their objective was, or where they were going. They therefore could not unite their members into a team. People went off in all directions, with little to show for their efforts, resulting in frustration and many resignations and high turnover. If the issues discussed above concerning a patient-led NHS were accepted, a clear direction would be pointed, and better leadership would emerge.

How should LINKs be designed including

Remit and level of independence

  LINKs remit should be to create a patient-led NHS by recruiting patients to sit with speaking, and voting rights on every committee concerned with patient care. They should be independently funded as was CPPIH so that they cannot become the poodle of any organisation. (eg local authority).

Membership and Appointments

  It should be easier and quicker to become a LINKs representative than it was to become a PPI forum member. There is no need for every representative to have the police check.

Funding and support


  Creating a patient-led NHS.

Statutory powers

  To sit on every committee concerned with patient care with speaking and voting rights.

Relations with local health trusts

  There should be a general recognition of the problems of patients playing doctors referred to in Q1A above, which otherwise will merely cause conflict.

National co-ordination

  As CPPIH was doing.

How should LINKs relate to and avoid overlap with:

  (a)  Local Authority structures including Overview and Scrutiny committees.

  (b)  Foundation Trust boards and Members Councils.

  (c)  Inspectorates including the Healthcare Commission.

  (d)  Formal and Informal complaints procedures.

  Patient representatives should make clear that they are representing the patient's interest only. It should be written into their terms of reference that they should always speak from their own experience, and not be mandated to plug any party line.

In what circumstances should wider consultation be carried out and what form should it take?

  No comment.

John Kapp

7 January 2007

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Prepared 6 February 2007