Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

83. Evidence submitted by Redcar and Cleveland PPI Forum (PPI 4)

  1.  The Redcar and Cleveland Patient and Public Involvement Forum met on Monday 8 January to discuss the questions posed by the Health Committee New Inquiry—Public and Patient Involvement in the NHS Terms of Reference. Their response is as follows:

  2.  The purpose of patient and public involvement is to monitor key aspects of NHS provision, opening all aspects of services to the patient and publics. Public and Patient Involvement should also act as a critical friend to the NHS.

  3.  Effective monitoring and meaningful patient and public involvement of selected health matters offer the most desirable, practical and best value for money.

  4.  The existing systems for patient and public involvement is being reformed in order to ensure a wider cross section of patient and publics views are listened to on their journey throughout the NHS system.

  5.  LINks should be independent from the NHS with wider involvement of other networks. When appointing members to the LINks, there should be total involvement of the current members. The funding should be ring fenced and LINks should focus on all aspects of health and social care within Local Authority boundaries. LINks should have the same statutory powers as PPI Forum powers currently hold, ie the right to inspect and the right to a response. The relations with local health Trusts should remain as they are for PPI Forums—independent from but working with the NHS—but involving all Trusts in the Local Authority area rather than just dealing with one Trust as in the current PPI Forum system. National co-ordination is essential to share information and have any national issues addressed.

  6.  LINks should remain independent from Local Authorities and OSC, and Foundation Trust Board and Members Council, however work with these bodies, especially on specific issues. LINks should work with inspectorates, including the Healthcare Commission, similar to how PPI Forums currently work with such bodies, ie take part in the Annual Health Check and receive Quality Outcome Framework reports etc. LINks involvement in formal and informal complaints should be minimal, signposting complaints to the relevant authorities.

  7.  Wider public consultation should be carried out under the circumstances as currently described under Section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001, however to be mindful of possible changes of legislation.

Redcar and Cleveland PPI Forum

8 January 2007

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Prepared 6 February 2007