Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

136. Evidence submitted by Peter Robinson (PPI 15)


  Until the end of December 2006 I was an interim Non-Executive Director of the North Nottinghamshire Teaching Primary Care Trust and had served on Ashfield Primary Care Trust as a Non-Executive Director for nearly six years. I also chair Central Nottinghamshire MIND and The Carers Council—Allies in Adult Mental Health. Over the last eight years I have been actively involved in the development of health services in the Ashfield and Mansfield areas, through these organisations but also through various carers strategic forums. I have experienced the difficulties of getting members of the public involved in health and social care service development. The PPI forums have played a very active role in trying to exert a patient and public influence which I have supported as a member of the PCT Board and through local consultations. I welcome the development of a structure which gives the patient and publics a more direct and flexible say in how local services develop and which holds the Primary Care Trusts to account for their performance.

  My views on some of the questions posed in the Terms of Reference of the enquiry are below:

  1.  LINks representation on North Notts Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) should be two members, one for the North of the county (Ashfield, Mansfield, Newark & Sherwood) and one for the South (Broxtowe & Hucknall, Gedling, Rushcliffe).

  2.  LINks should link with the existing community health and social care forums in the county, and with existing regional forums. Membership of the LINk would be drawn from these groups which would include the existing PCT Public Focus committee, PALS, Ashfield Links Forum as part of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and Mansfield Strategic Partnership, other Acute Trust and Mental Health Trust forums, and Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) Cluster group forums within the PCT area. It should also include representation from the following types of organisation in the PCT area:

    —  Voluntary health and social care organisations.

    —  Private health and social care providers.

    —  Community organisations (Citizens Advice Bureaux, Sure Start, Womens Centre, Womens Institutes, Townswomens Guild, Hospital volunteering organisations, ethnic minority groups, etc).

    —  Local government Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

  3.  LINks should provide flexible ways of engaging with the public rather than focus on meetings or committees. They should encourage the development of forums in PBC clusters.

  4.  The areas of focus of the LINk would be:

    —  Obtaining the views of the public about health and social care services and feeding these back to statutory organisations (PCT and Adult Social care & Health) and the membership of the LINk.

    —  Providing a public voice in health and social care decisions on investment in care services and changes in services (and not just through the PPI representatives on the PCT Board).

    —  Ensuring that service commissioning structures involve the public in decision making, and that multiple commissioning organisations are effective in meeting public needs.

    —  Through an inspection function, monitor the quality of service provision and feed the outcomes of the inspection into PCT clinical governance processes and the LINk consultation processes.

  5.  Funding for the LINks should come through LSP's.

  6.  LINks should be able to carry out their inspection function in any service, subject to individuals meeting the requirements of CRB or other checks (the document mentions Childrens services being excluded from inspection).

Peter Robinson

2 January 2007

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