Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

27. Evidence submitted by Ealing PCT PPI Forum (PPI 133)

  If there is to be a REAL consultation on how LINks should be designed then different options must be offered. Included in these the Patient and Public Involvement Forum for Ealing PCT felt there were two essential proposals.

  LINks should have access to all statutory health and/or social service provision plus services provided by private and/or voluntary contracts commissioned by statutory and social services. Without this overall access, monitoring and involvement, consultation cannot be maintained with any conviction.

  Funding should come directly from the Department to the LINks. The idea that local councils should provide "support" and scrutiny committees should have any managerial function would not convince the public that LINks was truly independent.

  Central funding would enable LINks to set up not only local but small Regional and National support services capable of providing general information and collating and consulting, for example on good practice throughout the country.

  It is impossible to visualise local government "support officers" having this opportunity without which LINks would not be able to provide value for money and obtain the credit of both providers and users of health and social services everywhere.

  We have already commented more fully elsewhere to the PPI Team at the Department of Health in respect of the Stronger Local Voice document, but believe that the two proposals from our Forum now emphasised, should be included in your own consultative procedure.

Patricia Seers

Chair, Ealing PCT Patient and Public Involvement Forum

11 January 2007

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