Notes from the field of public involvement

Tuesday, 30 November 2004

NHS University – RIP

"One year old infant dissolved" sounds like a Red Top banner headline. But that is the fate of the one year old infant “NHS University“ which is to be dissolved next July as part of the latest “bonfire of the quangos”, aka the Arms Length Body Review, which has already taken out the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health and several others in moving to its target of supporting only 20 DH sponsored agencies.

So why did they set up so many in the first place you might ask? In its place shall arise NILSI – a rather unfortunate sounding acronym for the NHS Institute of Learning, Skills and Innovation. This will gather in the NHSU, what’s left of the NHS Modernisation Agency and the Leadership Centre and the proposed new National Innovation Centre. NHSU’s current chief executive Bob Fryer (leaping from the bridge of the listing NHSU ship) will be styled “National Director for Widening Participation in Learning” and work across the NHS. That’s a great title and we hope the aspiration is achieved. The “widening” should include the most important part of the NHS and social care fabric – its users and carers and the public who pay for it all. Raising the level of social literacy about health and care would be no bad thing and would please Messrs Wanless and Brown. MAC hopes that the NHSU’s Patient and Community Engagement Unit survived the iceberg and will find a secure home in the new arrangements. Lay people need a champion on the inside.

Read the full implementation strategy here www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/09/66/94/04096694.pdf

Andrew Craig | Send feedback