Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

96. Evidence submitted by Tower Hamlets PPI Forum, Barts and the London Hospital PPI Forum and the East London and the City Mental Health PPI Forum (PPI 70)

  The joint Patients & Public Involvement Forums of Tower Hamlets, Barts and the London Hospital and the East London and the City Mental Health wish to make known that they consider the following points of paramount importance to the setting up of effective patient and public involvement in health and social care. The name LINks seems to be already decided, although we think something more clearly related to health and social care would be desirable. However, we will use the name in our comments.

    —  LINks must maintain independence and allow for participation at all levels across health and social care issues.

    —  LINks to retain right of inspection, both NHS, local authority and independent providers.

    —  LINks to have the ability to encourage, listen to and take note of the local community comments on services.

    —  LINks must ensure programme has close links with Trusts, social services, voluntary sector and community groups.

    —  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, 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 5 year basis and should total around £200,000 per year per borough.

    —  A properly resourced and responsive high public profile is required.

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

    —  LINks members need to get involved in local services and committees, and encourage special focus groups for the Acute and Mental Health Trusts, the PCT and local authority services.

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

    —  Local interest groups providing services that get involved in LINks should be required to declare any interests in Local Government and NHS contracts.

Tower Hamlets PPI Forum

Barts and the London Hospital Forum

East London and the City Mental Health PPI Forum

January 2007

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Prepared 6 February 2007