What’s happening in Patient and Public Involvement now?


What’s happening in patient and public involvement now?

Patrick Vernon, who is the Chair of the National Programme Advisory Group has said “Although, parliament, the health select committee, Care Quality Commission, Monitor and local authority health scrutiny committees are all essential, ultimately local people and communities need to be in the driving seat to call to account any failure of services, or to influence service change and better commissioning. It is not good enough that we still have to rely on whistle blowing from a frustrated professional; the death of a patient in tragic circumstances; or a fly on the wall documentary on maltreatment and abuse before the system to will respond.”

The Joint Health and Well Being Strategy, overseen by a new Board and elected members of the Local Authority Scrutiny Committee, will empower community involvement, and improve health outcomes through immediate service delivery. In Devon, the exemplar for the shadow Health and Well Being Board will be services for Children with Additional Needs, overseeing the development of new processes surrounding the commissioning, provision and scrutiny of these services, recently put out to tender. Currently managed by NHS Devon, Integrated Children’s Services are a range of health, social care and education services for children and families which aim to make services as seamless as possible for those needing to access them. Services range from the universal (for example health visiting and school nursing) to highly specialised (for example services for children with disability). Allen Bowen, the Chair of LINk Devon will sit on the shadow board, and a representative from Devon’s Joint Engagement Board.

By paying regard to the wider determinants of health,the Board will have also have a role in promoting and supporting the role of individuals and groups in shared decision making processes at all levels where health outcomes are a concern. Local Healthwatch organisations will be supported by a new national body called Healthwatch England which comes into being in October 2012.

The current purpose of the LINk in Devon is to enable community groups, organisations and individuals to participate in a network. Participants all over England are committed to widening the influence of patients, users of social care and the public in the planning of local care services. Locally, by promoting and supporting involvement, LINk Devon can encourage statutory, private and voluntary services to operate a culture of meaningful participation at all levels. This is with a view to improving services which are increasingly safe, timely, and appropriate, ensuring people get the services they need, and reducing waste at a time when public resources are operating in a period of austerity.

There are many ways to get involved in service planning. You may wish to:

  • · submit an idea to the Peninsula Clinical Research in Healthcare Centre via their website.
  • · raise a practical issue e.g. to do with opening times of pharmacies in your area
  • · research your condition and discuss self management of your condition on a more equal basis with your GP
  • · join the Patient Reference Group at your GP surgery
  • · engage with the Foundation Trust which operates hospital care in your area
  • · feed back about your service via the NHS Choices website, which is Europe’s most widely used health website
  • · have a personal budget and choose qualified services to suit your treatment plan
  • · access your patient records (some areas in Devon are already looking at how portable patient records, communications and assistive technology can be used to benefit patients, particularly those with long term conditions who use a range of qualified service providers)

LINk Devon can help you find your way round the system but it’s up to all of us to make the most of Healthwatch in the future!


Editors blog at GP online


Have a look at this blog, muchly useful for a quick update on whats happening on the shifting sands!

Patient and Public Involvement Solutions Consultation about Healthwatch…early indications show….

HealthWatch: What do we think so far?

Directly taken from the PPi solutions website. What do we think in Devon? Check PPi solutions out on twitter too!

Early indications from the Patient and Public Involvement Solutions Consultation  which took in:

  • Over 75 hours of focus groups
  • Findings from more than 3000 questionnaires
  • Feedback from over 400 organisations, groups and individuals.
  • Local HealthWatch communication and stakeholder engagement across 9 LAs …..

Feedback from their work across 9 Local Authorities identified six themes for consideration as we shape the aspirations for Local HealthWatch, Check out this summary of what people have told the consultation so far


A joined up organisation – linked across the community with a central team to ensure all voices are heard. One organisation with many solutions, a single point of contact for all agencies and partners as well as communities with a local co-ordinating body focussing on outcomes and made up of many organisations input, an organisation that understands the importance of social care as well as health.

Independent (but not self-serving)

It will be able to demonstrate clear prioritising and decision-making through an evidence base not influenced by vested interests of other organisations, individuals or politics. It will focus on outcomes not its own existence.


Service users will be integral to its leadership. It will be able to work with statutory organisations as well as communities and partners. It will champion and support local patient and user groups. It will bring local data and intelligence on behalf of the whole community into one place and use this to influence decision makers.

Working with the statutory sector

Local Authorities and the NHS will recognise their competing priorities and utilise HealthWatch as a mechanism to enable them to understand what is of most importance to people.

Branding and PR

It will be recognisable and relevant to local people who will understand and know what it does and can do for them.

Awareness and skills Through effective training and skills the aspiration for Local HealthWatch will ensure the right people are in the right place to provide a high quality service.

Please visit the PPi solutions page for more details as they emerge…..

 copyright to PPi Solutions ltd 2011

New sub group for LINk Devon

Your General Practice needs you!

Since January 2003 all NHS bodies have had a legal duty to involve and consult the public about the running of local health services. There are many ways to get involved as a citizen to influence and improve health and social care services in your area.

LINk Devon’s aim is to build and sustain a local, community based network of organisations and individuals committed to strengthening and widening the influence of patients, users of social care services and the public in the process of planning and improving health and social care services.

To support this aim, the LINk leadership group has formed a new sub group called the Clinical Commissioning sub group. This will help to raise the profile of the LINk with GP Practices across Devon. We hope by encouraging people to access the LINk and  via participation at your GP surgery,  that patient representation will be a route on which you can rely to get your voice heard.

By working with NHS Devon , our LINk would like to work towards influencing and supporting current and future patient representatives who recognise their accountability to you and your community. This means supporting existing and new Patient Participation Groups to understand the need for policy and processes which ensure public accountability in representative activities. At this initial stage, the sub group has been planning on how to explore the issues surrounding public accountability and how best to promote and support involvement in GP surgeries.

The Chair of the group, Bob Bryant, said,

“The reorganisation of the NHS is placing more responsibility on GPs. Therefore, LINk has set up a sub group whose aim is to work with GPs and Patients at Practice level to ultimately enhance shared decision making on commissioning issues. Patient representatives must recognise their responsibilities in the new arrangements.  LINk Devon is here to support the gaining of skills to enable people from all walks of life to participate with GPs in the shared decision making process.”

 Sub group participants attended a meeting at St Sidwell’s Community Centre in January.  Another scheduled meeting will take place in February.

 A survey is in distribution to all your GP surgeries in Devon. The intention is  to inform the development of  a learning activity based on best practice models of participation and representation.

Prior to Christmas, EDVSA staff held the first LINk Devon locality network groups which will enable people to become involved in raising local health and social care issues, hear more about health reforms and access training opportunities. Some members of patient participation groups have already attended these groups and heard more about Joint Strategic Needs Assessments  which will inform decision making about service commissioning and provision.

People who have a particular interest in local issues and who wish to become more informed about the planning of local health and social care services are invited to attend these meetings. The next meetings in some localities are dedicated to the development of Healthwatch. See the LINk Devon Facebook page for the dates in february to look out for.