Last update 7th. July 2006


Specialist PFs and the NHS Redress Bill

Janet Albu OBE

20, Swain's Lane,

London, N6 6QS

Dear Glenda,

July 6th 2006

You may remember that we have met when you have attended Age Concern Camden, and Royal Free Hospital events. Also you were kind enough to help in a trivial matter regarding transport in Camden. Now I am hoping for your support in two other matters:

1. Specialist (non- PCT) Patient and Public Involvement Forums

As part of the Department of Health’s current review of ppi (patient and public involvement), the status of Patient and Public Involvement Forums as independent statutory bodies may be subsumed under new provisions. Since the establishment of PPI Forums two and a half years ago, 'specialist' Forums - focussed on acute trusts, care trusts, ambulance trusts and mental health trusts - have built up a substantial body of specialised knowledge and expertise which has been influential in improving services for the public in these sectors. We believe it is essential that the statutory powers given to our Forums be maintained to ensure continuing protection and improvement for patients and the public. We hope that you will support the continuation of 'specialist' Forums.

2. The NHS Redress Act comes up for debate on Thursday. Nearly a million hospital patients have suffered damage ranging from the trivial to the fatal as a result of patient safety incidents, half of which were estimated to be preventable. I can cite many examples. At present there is no division in the act between fact-finding and fault-finding; moreover all complaints investigations and subsequent decisions are made by the very organisations in question. Sandra Gidley MP is leading a cross-party group proposing amendments before this flawed act is accepted. Could you give her your support?

Yours sincerely

Janet Albu

Acting Chair, UCLHFT PPI Forum

Camden Constituent.