Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

85. Evidence submitted by the Royal Brompton PPI Forum (PPI 59)

  The joint forum members for the Royal Brompton PPI Forum wish to make known that they consider the following points of paramount importance to the setting up of the LINks project:

    —  LINks must maintain independence and allow for participation at different levels.

    —  LINks to retain right of inspection.

    —  LINks to have the ability to listen to the local community for comments on services.

    —  LINks must ensure programme has close links with Trusts, social services.

    —  A national body is needed to oversee all LINks and share best practice. Also to provide a centre for local LINks to feedback information on topics that could be of national interest and to give greater credibility and unity. It was suggested that this could be the Healthcare Commission (HCC).

    —  Resources; need to be ring-fenced and need to include enough for two staff and an office and a discretionary budget for research and projects. It was suggested that budgets should be on a five year basis and should total around £200,000 per year per borough.

    —  Public profile.

    —  Every Local Health Authority to be required to have an Overview and Scrutiny Committee dedicated to Health and Social care and which includes professionals with the relevant knowledge to make a meaningful contribution.

    —  Members need to get involved in local services and committees allowing for there to be special focus groups for the Acute Trusts or Mental Health issues.

    —  Groups need sufficient time to disseminate information to members and feed back to Health Select Committee.

    —  Local interest groups that are getting involved in LINks should be required to declare any interests in Local Government contracts.

    —  Participation should be diverse and include a range of different communities.

    —  Proper arrangements should be made for incorporating forums into the work of Links and there should be some mechanism for work to continue within Links with specific NHS Trusts.

Royal Brompton PPI Forum

January 2007

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