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Many promises – where's the detail?


The Chair of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health warned the Government today not to leave the public behind in its efforts to improve the NHS.


Her comments came as today's Health and Social Care White Paper omitted mentioning any details for reforming NHS accountability to the public.


Sharon Grant, Chair of the Commission said

"We welcome much of the general direction of the White Paper, including the aspirations about involving the public in health, but the White Paper provides little indication as to how this will be achieved. There will be disappointment at the failure to provide clarity today.

This is not a Cinderella issue. Huge changes are afoot in the NHS, the public service people value most highly. It is inconceivable that such a major shake-up in healthcare should be forging ahead without a robust system to ensure accountability to patients and communities.

The White Paper is entitled "Our Health, Our Care, Our Say". It is ironic therefore that there is so little about how the "say" is going happen.


There is a great deal of work to be done to turn these aspirations into workable plans. It is now urgent that the Department of Health sits down with the Commission, Forum members and others to make sure that Choice is accompanied by real Voice - without further delay.


Roy Oliver, Chair St Mary's PPI Forum said

"I think it is time we stood back for a second and reflect on the good work of PPI Forums across the country. If the Government think it is necessary to change things again, decisions should be made sooner rather than later.”


Malcolm Jacobs, Chelmsford PPI Forum said

“We have been uncertain about the future of patient of public involvement for some time. The Government indicates it wants to strengthen public involvement in the UK ; however they should be now giving a clear indication of exactly how this will happen.”


David Parker – North Cumbria Acute Hospital NHS Trust PPI Forum said

“The report appears to be heavy on promise and low on performance.

It has general vague promises without specifics. More detail is needed on what happens next.”


Note to Editors

•  For more details, please call the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, tel: 077932 45097 or 0845 1207111.

•  PPI Forums began operation in December 2003 after almost 5,000 volunteers were recruited to the 572 Patient and Public Involvement Forums. There is a Forum for every NHS Trust, Primary Care Trust, and Foundation Trust in England.
•  Forums gather views about health services and make recommendations, influencing NHS services. They monitor the quality of local services, and look at how wider issues such as social care, transport or housing affect health.
•  The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health is an independent, non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health. Its remit is to ensure that the public is involved in decision making about health and health services. The Commission has its National Centre in Birmingham with nine Regional Centres across England.
•  The Government originally announced the abolition of the CPPIH and changes to the support for PPI Forums in July 2004. In August 2005 the Government changed these plans, postponing the abolition of the CPPIH and promising a strategic review with results to be published i n this White Paper.
•  The Commission and the 5,000 Forum members currently await guidance on their future.
•  Disappointingly there is still no detail on how the Government plans to build on the substantial work being done by these 5000 public volunteers to achieve this vital, strengthened public voice.
•  Details of the CPPIH's work are on our website


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