Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

71. Evidence submitted by North East Ambulance Service PPI Forum (PPI 16)

  The North East Ambulance Service Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) forum understands that your committee is gathering evidence before making recommendations to parliament regarding the future of PPI in Health.

  As a Forum covering a specialist NHS trust we feel that combining us into a wider network will mean that issues relating to ambulance services will be subsumed into other larger issues. We feel that this will undo all of the good work that we have done over the last three years. Not only that but we will lose the excellent working relationship that has built up with our Trust.

  We would like you to consider recommending that Forums based around such specialist services (ie ambulance, mental health etc) retain their individual identity allowing them to continue and build on previous work.

  The evidence that we enclose is, we feel, strong enough to support our case for retention. As you will see we have carried out a number of projects, which we have presented to NEAS NHS Trust, who have then considered the reports we have presented, and they have always responded positively to them, and where necessary they have acted upon our recommendations contained within the reports. One prime example was of two surveys we carried out, one looking at patients' experiences of Patient Transport Services (PTS), and the other, the efficiency and effectiveness of the PTS. These surveys were followed up by a report, which contained a number of recommendations, which the trust responded to and acted upon. We feel that this is obvious evidence that our current system is working and shouldn"t be tinkered with and incorporated into a wider network.

  We have over the last three years built up a relationship with our Trust that is based on mutual understanding, trust and most importantly, respect, that we feel will be lost if we were to be merged within LINks.

  In our particular case because we cover a huge geographical area (from Berwick in the north to the border between Cleveland and north Yorkshire in the south, and from the East coast to the border with Cumbria), it would so impractical to be forced to become part of a number of different LINks that cover that same geographical area.

  We do hope that you will give serious consideration to our request and evidence, and we look forward to your recommendations to parliament, which hopefully will include one to retain the status quo with specialist forums. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address, and I will be delighted to assist you in any way I can.

Michael A Dalton

Chair, PPIF North East Ambulance Service PPI Forum

2 January 2007

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