Notes from the field of public involvement

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

People - the rarest resource

We welcome the rolling away of the stone from the PPI cave and anticipate resurrection. You can read our full response to the DoH consultation on our main site. We have highlighted here what we think is the principal issue for us and it is to do with the people who volunteer and come forward to be the voice of the patient and public.

We feel there is an opportunity for a radical new approach in this contractual area that starts not with the definition of the appropriate institutional relationships but with creating the space and the environment that will nurture and sustain the individual relationships. We can all invent institutions and jobs for ourselves and indeed others but volunteers are like clean safe drinking water - they cannot be manufactured to order.

The people that suffered from the uncertainties and failures of the past were principally the volunteers, those members of the public, patients and carers who took part and responded to invitations to join in. (This is not to ignore the untimely job losses of CHC staff but their status as employed people ensured that they were not left wholly stranded.)

A Person-Centred Contract

We therefore see the first priority to create the right conditions or contract to re-inspire, attract and retain the new corps of patient and public participants- to resuscitate that goodwill and develop those new relationships.

This person-centred contract would address the following issues:

If a tendering organisation can show that it can devise a contract along these lines that can be incorporated into the 'main' host organisation contract and budget, then it is a serious contender to run a LINk regardless of whether it is a for-profit or not-for-profit organisation.

What do you think? If there is anything here that you would want us to explain or discuss with you, please contact us.

M-A-C's Response to the Dept of Health Stronger Local Voice Consultative Document (Adobe PDF)

Colin Adamson | (Problem occured connecting to database: The server requested authentication method unknown to the client