The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, set up in January 2003, is now deciding which of the 600 not for profit organizations who want to get involved should set up and run stakeholder forums. Different types of pilot patient and public involvement forums are being set up to find out which models work best. Laura McMurtrie, Chief Executive for the Commission said: “I am delighted at the level of response the Commission has received from groups expressing an interest in becoming involved in supporting and recruiting the PPI Forums. It confirms the widespread intention of many parts of the community and voluntary sectors to be part of the new vision.The Commission and the new forums are essential parts of the NHS ten year plan which puts greater public involvement at the heart of the modernisation agenda. The Commission’s role is to establish a new system of patient and public involvement in health for England that will give the public a voice in the decisions that affect their health and an influence in wider health issues. It aims to promote involvement in health from all parts of the community working with groups including those already involved in health care, government and non government organisations and the voluntary sector.
The Commission replaces the Community Health Councils which formerly carried out a watchdog role. The new arrangements for stakeholder representation mean that patients will now be involved in policy and implementation from the very top of the NHS through the Modernisation Boards right through to the grass roots level.