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March 2005

Forum backing for more staff at maternity unit

PPI Forum for Northumbria Healthcare visited the Maternity Unit and built relationships with midwives. This resulted in a report for the hospital highlighting concerns – especially about pressure on midwives and need for more support. The Trust has now introduced a new grade of midwifery assistant and employed seven new midwives. They are also looking to upgrade and improve equipment such as the travelling incubators.

February 2005

Forums champion cleaner hospitals

Forums in London and around the country are championing hospital cleanliness, alongside MRSA awareness and improving services for older people.

The PPI Forum for Ealing Hospital, the hospital at the centre of the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches' programme will also be holding its first public meeting on Wednesday 9 February with a special focus on MRSA.

November 2004

PPI Forum Members Back Moves To ImproveThe Nation's Health

Members of PPI Forums have supported tough action to improve the nation's health, according to a poll carried out by the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.For full article click here.  In the poll – which was conducted through the CPPIH's internet-based Knowledge Management System (KMS) - Forum members were asked their views on whether Government should act in four areas.They voted overwhelmingly in favour of action:

  • 86% of respondents supported a ban on smoking in public places. 14% opposed a ban
  • 89% of respondents said the Government should make food companies publish warnings on fatty foods. 11% opposed it
  • 71% of respondents said free and easier access to gyms and/or exercise equipment is needed. 29% opposed it
  • While 84% of respondents said that prevention is better than cure and everyone should have a yearly “health MoT” to help prevent illness, with 16% opposing it.
    More details and the results of the poll are availableby clicking on this link.

October 2004

Have your Say in Health

Give your view on the new arrangements for Patient and Public Involvement. 

Click here to go to the online questionnaire

Binge drinkers sound alarm for Forums

Binge drinkers are tying up ambulance and hospital services, prompting Forum members to highlight the need for ‘Detox units'.

Forum members are to discuss with police setting up the ‘Drunk tanks' for dangerously intoxicated people, and staffed by nurses or people trained to deal with drunks. They would offer them counselling in how to reduce their consumption.

PPI Forum for Guildford and Waverley Primary Care Trust is carrying out a binge drinking project in collaboration with Surrey Police, who detain a considerable number of people who are a danger to themselves because of drink. The Forum is investigating solutions to binge drinking, and member Anita Morris, is going to visit a 'Police & Multi-Agency Binge Drinking Unit' in Scotland to see how they tackle the problem.

The Forum is researching a pilot scheme to improve the health care of incapably drunk people held in custody overnight – probably with the establishment of a detoxification unit, with appropriate care, in collaboration with Surrey Police.

Forum members also aim to encourage ‘brief interventions' to help people cut their drinking – such as at Royal Liverpool and St Mary's Hospital, London , where they have already reduced A and E admissions, the majority of which are for alcohol-related injuries at weekends.

September 2004

Family benefits from KMS
The distressed family of an elderly Alzheimer's disease patient turned successfully to the Commission's Knowledge Management System for uniquely-available help when he was threatened with eviction.


Mrs. G, of Dudley, West Midlands, requested help over her father's Alzheimer's care arrangements. He was under threat of being summarily moved from his care home following allegations over his behavior, due to his condition. Mrs. G and her husband looked at the CPPIH Knowledge Management System for guidance, both in dealing with her father's situation, and to learn more about treatment of his condition.

She said:

"It is absolutely essential when you are looking for help. No other website met our needs as this did. The KMS was very accessible, and gave impartial advice. It was very patient-orientated."

Armed with this knowledge, the family resumed negotiations with the home. The threat to move her father has now been removed, and the family has been told he can stay as long as they wish.

Knowledge is power: and the sharing of more and more information about health between patients, the public and decision makers bring substantial benefits at a personal level too.


This approach also translates to significant cost savings compared to the use of technical project or internet development staff. Substantial cost savings have also been achieved compared to alternative systems which would require dedicated networks and office systems to connect together nearly 6,000 people in 650 organisations.


September 2004

Forums stage biggest public 'Bugwatch' survey.

More than 170 PPI Forum Members have teamed up in the biggest public MRSA survey of its kind, to put pressure on hospitals to clean up. Forums have power to make unannounced spot checks. But by giving notice, Forums who visited more than 300 wards across North West England got a better outcome. Forum member Mike Haworth, of Warrington, said:

"From experience I find you get better results through working in cooperation, it cuts out the antagonism, and everybody achieves something."

The results of the survey were remarkably positive, and showed hospital staff scored nine out of ten for having clean medical equipment and beds, and having towels and soap available. However, Forum members found there was room for improvement regarding hand-washing between treating patients. Nearly a third of staff were found wearing wrist watches and/or rings with stones - against infection advice. Infection Control Nurses have backed the Forums' survey. A spokesman for the North West Infection Control Nurses' Association said: "We support any initiative designed to improve patient care, and look forward to a collaborative approach with local patient and public Forums."

The full results of the survey, analysed by the Regional Centre of the Commission for Patient & Public Involvement in Health, are available to the public by clicking on this link.

Read more about the Bug Watch Survey
Read more about Forums work - click here to go to the KMS
Go to the National Press Release
Go to Regional Press Releases

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Forum Cuts Waiting Times

After local people complained about waiting times to their new PPI Forum, Tewkesbury Hospital is introducing a new appointment system to cut waiting times for blood tests

No Smoking in Shopping Centres

PPI Forum for Ellesmere Port & Neston is getting involved in the creation of a no smoking area in Ellesmere Port town centre. This involves joint work with the Borough Council, the Primary Care Trust, the Health Protection Agency and local businesses.

Hospital plans in focus

New hospital plans for Barts Hospital, London, are being closely monitored by Forum members to ensure the views of patients and public are taken on board. Recently the Forum was involved in a patient/public consultation over the scheme and will be championing adequate access for the disabled among other priorities.

£10m spending plan

Plans for a £10million refurbishment at a Hampshire A&E department have come under the scrutiny of two Forums in discussions on how the cash should be spent.

Forum seeks feedback

Doncaster black and minority groups are being asked for their views on accessing GP services. The initiative is being taken by the local PPI Forum in response to a request from a regional health watchdog.

Campaign for dentists

PPI Forum members in Torbay have joined forces with their local newspaper to campaign for more NHS dentists. The Forum has raised its concerns with the Department of Health that new dentists' contracts will further reduce numbers in NHS practice.

Support in funding bid

The Derbyshire PPI Forum for Mental Health is backing the PALS service for Local Mental Health Service Users as it seeks funding to improve its service throughout the county.

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