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Notes from the field of public involvement

Replies to: Now we know the answer to “what next?” for Patients Forums

Your replies to Wednesday's post "Now we know the answer to 'what next?' for Patients Forums" (M-A-C won't publish your email address and please let us know if you don't want your comment to be posted or for it to be posted anonymously).

Visitor's comment  "From where I sit nothing could be worse than the current situation and this is better than it might have been. Our biggest concern will be whether they are given the right level of support and whether the forums will even exist by the time things get sorted out. I was being told today that potential new members are all falling into a black hole in the Commission and Forums don’t even know they are there."
Board member of an Inner London PCT 17-Mar-05

Visitor's comment "Feedback I've had so far about the PPIFs 'merger' announcement is favourable for the longer term but worried about the short term. It was brutal that no one was given advance notice and the volunteers are only now finding out. Still haven't seen anything about it in the daily press. When I reported it to our PEC, there was just low level groaning around the table."
PEC Member, London 18-Mar-05

Visitor's comment "Believe it or not I received a letter giving details of reconfiguration of Forums a few days ago from the PPI Division at DH coordinating the change. I also attended a regional conference which all the forums in Kent attended, most of which had not received the communication.

I do have mixed feelings about the change, however it does have some attractions. At the workshops yesterday the general consensus was the merger could work, if [a] the Forums are not too large and [b] a member or members will focus or specialise on the special trusts such as Mental Health and Ambulance. In addition, the mergers based on PCT areas could overcome the geographical problems, this particularly relevant to Kent Ambulance due to the size of the county with only 4 active members !!! out of a forum of 9.

It was also apparent that some of the Forums have plenty of deadwood and some members have personal agendas. There was surprisingly yesterday a great deal of positive action and keenness to make the thing work and insistence that the politicians make up their bloody minds and stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Oh one final thing in the DH letter which I brought to the meeting’s attention much to everyone’s surprise, was the fact a decision has been made that the NHS Appointments commission will appoint in future the forums CHAIRS !!! Cronyism, puppets etc you figure !"
Forum Member from Kent, 19-Mar-05