Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

133. Evidence submitted by Brenda O'Neill (PPI 143)

1.   What is the purpose of patient and public involvement?

  1.1  To ensure that patients receive the highest quality/standard of timely care in the most appropriate setting as possible. To do this the care planners, commissioners, providers need information/evidence. Part of this is medical/clinical, scientific, best practice etc but a big part will come from patients (of their experiences) or potential patients (of their perceived needs).

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

  2.1  It needs to be sufficiently flexible, to meet the needs of local people, individuals and communities. And consistent, standard enough to make sense of the outcomes, evidence, opinions, ie interpret evidence to make (national) decisions.

  2.2  Any new PPI arrangement must get away from the committee style/structure. This disempowers some individuals who cannot relate to such structures—finding them restrictive and limiting.

  2.3  Boundaries—these also are limiting and do not necessarily reflect, for the want of a better description, the patient pathway. They are potentially practical and desirable but inflexible.

  2.4  Need to consider if the PPI arrangement is meant to be representative or empowering.

  2.5  I would take issue with less emphasis on those who have a voice—or those who already express their views. They are still needed and not everyone wants to express a view—which seems to be a huge assumption being made by Government and the Department of Health. Many people only want to express their view when it is relevant to them or their nearest and dearest—family or friends.

  2.6  NB—PPI is a communication tool that allows patients, the public, citizens, communities to inform provide feedback, input, comment in a timely fashion (throughout the planning cycle for example) and the NHS and Social Care providers/planners to seek views, respond, react, account for, plan, purchase and deliver the care.

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

  3.1  For practical reasons in my view:

    —  CPPIH is to be abolished, Impact of NHS reorganisations, and a PPI Forum relating to a specific NHS body does not relate to patients or the public.

Brenda O'Neill

January 2007

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