Headlines: June 10th, 2005

A new resource centre is to be established to promote best practice in involving patients in the improvement of National health Services. It will build on the recent commitment to make Patient and Public Involvement – PPI part of everyday practice in the NHS.The centre will research existing and ongoing best practice and innovation in this field and communicate it widely through exemples, advice, guidance and information. At the same time it will identify gaps in learning and skills and support initiatives that will address them and offer signposting, linkages and networks.

It is also envisaged that the new centre will also provide guidance to Primary Care Trust patients’ forums helping them them to work together to follow what is being called the ‘patient’s journey’, and developing existing good forum practice.

Plans for the centre have been announced by the Health Minister Rosie Winterton, who said it would be set up after a tendering process, which will begin later this month. It is expected to be up and running in January next year. The centre will be funded for three to five years and will be the responsibility of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, which will manage it by contract.

Ms Winterton said the centre would support the NHS as a whole, because although there were good examples of extensive patient and public involvement in delivering services, it was necessary to make this depth of involvement and consultation more widespread in order to develop further improvements in the quality of care.