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PPI Forums

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many members are there in each Patient and Public Involvement Forum?

For legal reasons, each Forum needs a minimum of 7 members to be set up but Forums can still operate if membership falls below 7. The membership reflects the make-up of local communities and allows the forums to respond to new initiatives. Many forums have more than 7 members.

2. How many Patient & Public Involvement Forums are there and where are they located?

PPI Forums cover every Primary Care and NHS Trusts in England. Lists of NHS trusts and hospital trusts are available on

3. What is the role of Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPIF)?

PPI Forums are the local voice of the community on health matters and have a wide range of responsibilities. PPI Forums gather views about the quality of services, monitor service gaps and their impacts, and make suggestions on improving the experience of the user of the service.

4. Who is represented on PPI Forums and what is the structure of a Forum?

PPI Forums try to be representative of their local communities' cultural, ethnic and social characteristics. Part of the Forums role is to engage diverse members of the wider public for shorter or longer periods of time depending on the issue, specialist interests and local circumstances.

5. How is the role and work of PPI Forums publicised?

As Forums have become established and more active in their local communities, their work and role is becoming better known. Increasing the awareness of the Forums' work is supported locally and nationally by Forum Support Organisations and the CPPIH through a range of marketing tools and media as appropriate.

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6. What are the arrangements for working with partners at national and local level to create links, share experiences and good practice?

PPI Forums, Forum Support Organisations, and the CPPIH at national and local level are all creating links with other organisations to discuss common agendas and explore joint working arrangements. Such activities are increasingly being supported through the Knowledge Management System.

7. How do the PPI Forums link in to the role of atient Advice and Liaison Services ( PALS)?

PPI Forums have close links with the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) but Forums have a wider role than PALS. PALS are located within NHS Trusts to provide information, advice and support to help patients, families and their carers. PPI Forums don't just focus on NHS Trusts and NHS services but on all issues which affect health outcomes - including many local authority services, transport, environment and economic issues. PALS are vital for patients currently using services provided by the local Trust and are one of the many services PPI Forums link with.

8. Can a Forum member also be a non-executive director of a health trust?


9. Can PPI Forums be merged, for instance if there are 2 or 3 covering a small geographical area?

No. Patient and Public Involvement Forums are required for each NHS Trust regardless of the size of the area they cover. This is a legal requirement which cannot be varied.

10. Are the numbers of Patient & Public Involvement Forums linked to the population size in geographical areas?

No. Forums relate to a specific NHS Trust not to the size of the population. But the CPPIH recognises that some Forums – such as those that cover a wide area like Ambulance Trust Forums or work with a Trust with a national role – may require more members than some others. So the numbers of members on Forums does vary.

11. What will happen to PPI Forums with the formation of Foundation Trusts?

They will they have the same responsibility in these Trusts as they do in Primary Care Trusts and NHS Trusts.

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12. What is happening to the CPPIH and the PPI Forums following the Governments review of Patient and Public Involvement?

Following the PPI review it has been announced that the PPI Forums will be replaced by Local Involvement Networks (LINks) and the CPPIH will be abolished.

These changes have been proposed so to match the major changes in the NHS e.g. Trust reconfigurations andthe move towards the commissioning of services.

No specific timescales have been announced and the PPI Forums continue to play a vital role for their community until these proposals are implemented by law.

PPI Forums still remain the only organisations that provide volunteers with statutory powers over the right to information, inspection and monitoring.

Forums can ensure patients and your local community have a say in how local health services are delivered.

With the NHS changes currently taking place, it is more vital than ever that PPI Forums remain active in their unique responsibility to provide the voice of the patient in local health decisions.

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The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH)

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