Last update 18th. October 2005


Critical Friends

From Health Committee Seventh Report

Patient and Public Involvement Forums

13. Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPIFs), which have a different role, are now being introduced across the NHS and they are due to be introduced in every NHS trust and Primary Care Trust (PCT) by the end of 2003. The role of PPIFs is to influence the day to day management of health services by the Trust, and to monitor the effectiveness of the PALS and ICAS in their area. PPIFs will be run by independent organisations under contract to the CPPIH, to which they will be directly accountable, reinforcing their independence from the trust whose patients they serve. Each PPIF will have the right to appoint a member appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the trust board. The CPPIH will support and facilitate the co-ordination of PPIFs at a regional and a national level. According to the CPPIH:

the public, through the PPI Forums and with access to high quality information provided by the CPPIH, will be able to engage in decision making as never before. This will include the monitoring and shaping of the range and effectiveness of services provided by every Primary Care Trust and NHS Trust in England, as well as influencing the health related decision making of other public bodies. Our strategy is to establish a de-centralised system which provides support as close to the public as possible, and ensures local sensitivity. In this the regional offices will play a major part.[6]

14. The PPIFs will each comprise volunteer members, recruited locally and trained appropriately. The forums once established will:

be the main vehicle for the public to influence strategic priorities and day-to-day management of health services in their local area;

be an independent critical friend on wider health matters in their community such as environmental health; review services from the patient perspective and monitor responses from local health services to complaints from patients.

15. The PPIFs' legal powers will include:

Full Report