Last update 25th. May 2006
At this time of ever continuing change in the NHS and surrounding bodies when the Forums are most likely to be subsumed by the Local Initiative Networks, I feel it is necessary to defend the work and achievements of the volunteer Forum members who were thrown in the deep end by legislation that was rushed, ill-thought out and poorly implemented.
I am immensely proud of the achievements of my own Gloucestershire Hospitals PPI Forum, such as:
We are currently heavily engaged in Community Engagement activities especially in the elderly and BME groups with a significantly building success rate. The groundwork is nearing completion for a Review of Stroke Services across the County from diagnosis/referral, through the category dependent patient pathways to discharge in the community with an emphasis on the patients perception of Dignity in Care.
This success has not arisen overnight, nor is it purely down to the proactivity of the Forum members. It could not have been achieved without the enthusiasm and co-operation of the Trust at all levels. The Chair of the Trust and the CEO have ensured that PPI principles and practices are included in ALL Trust Policies and Protocols and have also encouraged the working relationships with the Forum and other voluntary bodies.
Unfortunately all Forums have not had this superb relationship with their associated Trust, it can take time to establish, it is therefore greatly regretted that the DoH is even thinking about abolishing the PPI Forums in the same ill considered way that the CHC's were killed off just 3 years ago without considering the consequential effects.
D. W. Espie
Member of Gloucestershire Hospitals PPI Forum