Food – have NHS Trusts found the right recipe?
campaign asks patients and visitors – “Are you getting
a square meal?”
nationwide campaign entitled ‘Food Watch' is launched
today to discover patient and visitor views on hospital
food and refreshments. The campaign, which is being
undertaken by Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Forums
across England , will be one of the largest user surveys
of its kind. Food Watch will look at the cost, quality
and availability of food and drink for inpatients, their
visitors and outpatients.
Forums, who represent patients and the public in decisions
about health, decided action needed to be taken after
receiving complaints and concerns on availability, price
and quality of hospital food and drink. There has also
been a rise in the number of hospitals who now have
fast-food outlets such as Burger King, and Costa Coffee
cafes appearing in hospital foyers replacing more traditional
shops and cafes.
Forums will conduct surveys throughout hospitals in
England to discover the cost of drinks and snacks in
both inpatient and outpatient sites, as well as exploring
the range of food offered to inpatients and responses
to hospital food in general.
issues will include:
Temperature of food
Menu changes – especially for those in long term care
Choices to fit diet, lifestyle or religious considerations
Availability of healthy options
Cost of refreshments
Help with eating
Grant, Chair of the Commission for Patient and Public
Involvement in Health (CPPIH) commented:
the many initiatives to improve hospital food for patients,
PPI Forums continue to receive feedback from patients
and their visitors that food is still being served at
the wrong temperature, that some patients are not given
adequate time or help to eat their meals and there are
still issues surrounding the choice and quality of food
provided. There is also increasing concern that high-street
names are now providing food and drink in some hospitals
– giving outpatients and their visitors only fast food
or expensive coffee shops as options. Now PPI Forums
want to get a national picture, and therefore CPPIH
is supporting them in launching the Food Watch campaign.”
Watch follows the recent highly successful Fair Talk
campaign where PPI Forums highlighted the excessive
costs of hospital bedside telephones.
Forums will be conducting their research throughout
September and the results will be published in October
welcomes new PPI proposals
– but we must build on past experience
response to today's announcement that the Department
of Health is to create Local Involvement Networks (LINks)
to replace PPI Forums, the Chair of the Commission for
Patient and Public Involvement (CPPIH) commented:
Forums with their 5,000 members across England have
achieved so much in such a short timescale. Their impact
has been felt throughout the entire NHS.
the government has decided that with a radically changing
NHS a much wider patient and public involvement system
welcome, of course, the vision contained in these proposals.
We all see the need for much wider involvement in health
matters. However, it is important that we do not overlook
the value of the tremendous work that the present PPI
Forums have done, and ensure that the experience of
Forums forms the basis of the new local networks. We
know, and share many concerns they have about what is
proposed, and will represent them to the Department
are eager to see the detail behind the proposals, hold
further discussions and to work with the Department
of Health on the transition arrangements, but in the
meantime we have several very clear messages:
The Department of Health must learn from the past.
Patients and the public were left in a vacuum between
the demise of Community Health Councils and PPI Forums
becoming effective. This can't happen again;
PPI Forum members are an asset that we can't afford
to ignore. Their experience and knowledge will be
essential in developing and implementing the new system
LINks need to be properly resourced, and have teeth
LINks need to be truly independent from the NHS "
yet there have been no definitive details published
by the Department of Health on the expected timescales
for these changes. It has been previously announced
that the CPPIH will be abolished in the summer of 2007,
but no exact date has been revealed. An intense and
complex legislative process has to be enacted in order
to put the new proposals in place.
is clear is that PPI Forums will continue to work for
the benefit of their local communities up until the
day of their abolition. Not only do their statutory
powers remain, but they also retain their commitment
and conviction in ensuring that the voice of the patient
continues to be heard and responded to in all decisions
that affect their health and health services.”
at GP contract ruling as consultation process was ‘flawed'
Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health
(CPPIH) has today criticised the decision by Mr Justice
Collins to dismiss a charge brought by North East Derbyshire
patient, Pam Smith against North East Derbyshire PCT,
of failure to properly consult in awarding a GP contract
to a US firm.
Grant, Chair of CPPIH, commented:
is a very bad day for patient involvement. The decision
is a farce. On the one hand Mr Justice Collins agreed
that the consultation process was flawed, but then claimed
that even if the process had been conducted properly
the consequence was likely to have been the same. How
does he know? And what does this say for real, effective
consultation in our so-called patient-led NHS?”
case was brought by Pam Smith, from Langwith, who had
been concerned that her local NHS Trust – North East
Derbyshire Primary Care – had failed to consult properly
when it awarded a GP Contract to the US company, United
much of the emphasis is now on a health service populated
by a range of suppliers, it is vital that consultation
is real and meaningful for patients. This case will
have an impact not just for the people of North East
Derbyshire, but sends a message to all patients throughout
England . The message is a worrying one; especially
as it would appear to give a legal licence to PCTs to
practice flawed and ineffective consultation.
raises some very important questions,
how does the NHS ensure the future of effective consultation,
especially when one of the mechanisms – Patient and
Public Involvement Forums have a huge question mark
hanging over their future and,
- how can it make sure that it gets the next patient
and public involvement strategy - the details of which
are due out shortly - right for the NHS and patients?
call upon Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Health,
to immediately review this decision and its impact upon
the right of patients and the public to expect and participate
in genuine consultation.”
gives guarded welcome to PPI Resource Centre
Grant, Chair of the Commission for Patient and Public
Involvement in Health (CPPIH) gave a guarded welcome
to the Department of Health's announcement of the new
Patient and Public Involvement Resource Centre. She
takes two to have a conversation. While it's good that
the NHS will be getting better at talking to the
public, it's the public's priorities that must be centre
stage, and we need a proper system to make sure they
aren't shouted down.
Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) must be a partnership
between those who deliver NHS services and the public.
It doesn't matter how many different techniques the
NHS may use to try to involve patients, they will fail
if they can't or won't hear what patients and the public
organisation, a national voice for patients and the
public throughout England is to be abolished next year,
and the future of local PPI Forums is uncertain. No
replacement arrangements have yet been announced. We
hope that Ministers will now move urgently to ensure
a powerful local and national voice for the public in
health for the future.”
ever survey into hospital bedside phone
charges reveals why 49p per minute is definitely the
Wrong Number for patients!
bedside Phones - Con or Convenience?
That's what Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Forums
set out to discover when they launched a national campaign,
Fair Talk, in April. The results, revealed today will
unanimously tell the Department of Health; NHS Trusts
and hospital phone system providers, such as Patientline,
Hospicom and Premier, that patients, their family and
friends believe the charges to be “extortionate” – leading
to additional suffering for the patient and further
worry for their loved-ones as they count the cost with
Easton from East Kent Hospitals PPI, commented:
many of the patients we spoke to welcome the convenience
of the system, this was countered by a very strong belief
that the charges were exorbitant. Those we surveyed
also believed that the patient is being penalised, exploited
at a hugely vulnerable time in their lives. We also
noted that while evidence has shown that mobile phones
do not cause problems with medical equipment, hospital
Trusts often prohibit their use giving the patient no
choice but to use the expensive bedside systems.”
78 PPI Forums from Northumberland to Devon , conducted
the biggest-ever user survey into hospital bedside phone
systems, speaking to over 1,200 patients and visitors
to hospitals throughout April 2006.
Fair Talk campaign had been instigated by comments made
to PPI Forum members by local people concerned that
patients were being exploited by a system from which
they were supposed to benefit. In particular, PPI Forums
were anxious that those on a fixed income, or regular
in-patients would be either left in debt through using
the system, or isolated because they couldn't afford
to use it and are given no alternative.
Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health
(CPPIH) coordinated the campaign at the request of PPI
Forums and will be sending the findings into the Department
of Health's Review team who are also looking at this
subject following an investigation by Ofcom.
it came to the charges the Fair Talk campaign reveals
88% of those surveyed
believed the cost of calling was expensive or very expensive
and that they were calling on NHS Trusts to “reverse
highest charges came at over 100 hospitals where Patientline
is installed. They charge 39p/min off peak and 49p/min
at all other times for inbound calls.
A patient in Frimley Park Hospital was charged nearly
£10.00 for one call, leading them to explain it
would have been cheaper for them to call relatives in
the full press article click here
For the full summary of results click here
report demands radical improvements to care for asylum
seekers and refugees
new report calls for urgent action by the NHS and other
service providers to dramatically improve care for asylum
seekers and refugees. The report and best practice guide
entitled ‘ Unheard Voices - listening to the views
of Asylum Seekers and Refugees ' will be launched
on Wednesday 24 May 2006 at 2pm in The Thatcher Room,
Portcullis House, Westminster . The launch is being
sponsored by the All Party Parliamentary Group of MPs
on Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
report was commissioned by the Commission for Patient
and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) on behalf of
the network of 11 Mental Health Patient and Public Involvement
Forums in London . The best practice guide and further
research builds on preliminary work conducted last year
and the recommendations and findings are based on the
views of asylum seekers and refugees who were interviewed.
The best practice guide sets out nearly 100 recommendations
for action. The research, report and guide were prepared
by consultants David Palmer and Kim Ward.
report calls for agencies responsible for commissioning
and providing care to take a much more integrated and
holistic approach. The report states that poverty, housing
and immigration status are the key issues impacting
on the mental health of asylum seekers and refugees.
These issues need to be addressed as well as ensuring
sensitive and accessible mental health services.
on the report, Mike Loosley, Chair of the London Mental
Health PPI Forums Network, said: "This is an excellent
piece of work by David and Kim and it represents an
urgent call to action for the NHS, other service providers
and commissioners. Asylum seekers and refugees deserve
to be treated with dignity and respect and services
should be designed accordingly."
Harris , Medical Justice
, commented: “The forced decision for one to flee from
there country is not any easy one. Many asylum seekers
coming from war torn countries have experienced some
of the most horrifying and life shattering stories.
On behalf of those asylum seekers that have been welcomed
into England , may I express my gratitude to CPPIH,
and the authors, for commissioning the report.
has a long tradition of providing hospitality to those
persecuted by their governments and my hope is that
this report will assist those practitioners in health
or voluntary organisations who working with asylum seekers
gain a better insight into how best to help them through
mental health problems. I also hope those with the Home
Office will take note of the findings of this report.”
a copy of the full report and press article click here
to article in the Guardian 26th April
Ministers Listening Now? - Not a silent revolution
is a great deal to commend in the article by James Johnson
(The costs of revolution, Society Guardian, Wednesday
26 th April 2006) and he has most of his facts right,
apart from stating the Commission for Patient Public
Involvement has already ‘disappeared.’
is still active and its Patient Forums are very much
alive, continuing to report on the state of the health
service and recruit new members. This state of affairs
will continue until we are abolished through legislation
in the Summer 2007.
the meantime we eagerly await a Ministerial announcement
on the future direction of how patients and Public voices
can be heard in the ‘Patient Led NHS’.
Lowden, Chief Executive, CPPIH
Response to article in The Times 18th April
and Public Involvement (PPI) Forums were introduced
a little over two years ago. Many staff and volunteers
involved in the Community Health Council system did
become involved in the new PPI Forum system and thousands
of people who had never volunteered before have also
become Forum members.
the past 28 months, Forums have achieved a great deal:
every PPI Forum operating can highlight an issue raised
with their Trust or an influence on improvement in
delivery of service.
successes, such as the ‘Bugwatch' campaign which generated
many improvements relating to MRSA, have been publicised,
whereas a vast majority of minor successes and impacts
(of which there are hundreds of examples) tend not
to be promoted or receive the recognition deserved.
Forums have been responsible for assessing and making
recommendations for improvements to Trusts around public
concerns such as hygiene and cleanliness, hospital food,
transport and access. Forums have and are being listened
to by Trusts and changes to service provision are
being made as a direct result.
the full response, please click here.
of Patient Forums believe that NHS debts will get worse
survey of Patient Forums across England has revealed
that over 70% believe that NHS debts will continue to
get worse. The results of this survey are announced
as many NHS Trusts prepare to reveal large debts in
their 05/06 financial accounts.
survey, compiled by the Commission for Patient and Public
Involvement in Health (CPPIH), has found that over 60%
of the Patient Forums taking part in the poll believe
their local NHS Trust will be cutting services this year.
58% believe that there are also plans to make staff cuts.
the full news article, please click here.
Telephones - Con or Convenience? New
campaign tells patients - "it's your call!"
nationwide campaign entitled ‘Fair Talk’ is launched
today to discover the views of patients and visitors
into hospital bedside television and telephone services.
The campaign, which is being undertaken by Patient and
Public Involvement (PPI) Forums across England , will
for the first time give consumers of these services
the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns.
the full news article, please click here