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Forum volunteers tackle problems from Superbug to sexual health

For the first time, volunteer Forum members from around England will meet this month at a national conference and tackle major health concerns.

Hundreds of members of Patient and Public Involvement in Health Forums will spotlight their work at the event, taking place on June 7 and June 8 in Birmingham .

Sexual health, the new Mental Health Bill, and threats to health from fast food are among issues for discussion. Forums are also working on:

· MRSA and hospital cleanliness;

· mental health service provision;

· women's health;

· NHS dentistry in jeopardy;

· ambulance services; and

· helping communities to shape their own healthcare.

In Northumbria , their Health Forum Report highlighted concerns over pressure on midwives and the need for additional support. It helped secure more midwives.

Forum members from across the country will also be discussing Government plans for the future of patient and public involvement in health, including new support arrangements for Forums and plans to combine Forums.

The conference, at the close of Volunteers Week (Jun 1 –7), will show how volunteers can have a real impact on health and health services.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton is expected to be among those joining the discussions at the two-day convention, held at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham .

Chief Executive for the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, Steve Lowden, said:

“This is a vital time for Forums - and for PPI in general - and we know that Forum members will be expressing their views on how the future of PPI should look.

“Forum members have achieved a remarkable amount in a short time through their hard work and the support of CPPIH staff and Forum support organisations.”

Forums will be indicating what new PPI support they need for their work, following the Government's announcement that it is to abolish the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

Forum members have already achieved improvements in public health and hospital hygiene, and their network has won better services for people from cancer to Alzheimer's patients.



For more details call CPPIH, on 0121 222 4546 for assistance, or if you would like to send a representative to the convention. If so, please call to register your name to avoid admission delays.

Operational Note to editors

1. Conference registration opens at 9 30am on June 7. Commission chair, Sharon Grant will make a welcome speech and introduction at 11am .

2. There are 572 Patient and Public Involvement Forums - one for every NHS Trust and Primary Care Trust.

3. Their members, almost 5,000 PPI forum volunteers, work on local health decision making.

4. Details of the CPPIH's work are on our website

5. The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health is an independent body which ensures that the public is involved in decision making about health and health services.


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