In 2002, as part of the consultations for removing Community Health Councils in England and putting Patient and Public Involvement Forums in their place, the DoH commissioned a consultation report by the Patient's Forum. That report (by Christine Hogg and Lindsey Graham - still available at http://www.thepatientsforum.org.uk/PPIPscopingstudyfinalreport1.asp), involving a host of patients' organisations, was vitually ignored. The Government then established in 2003 the Quango, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. CPPIH went on to do its own thing totally ignoring 30 years' knowledge, expertise and experience of service user organisations. That is chronicled on www.ppeyes.org.uk (mainly now in the Archives). In Autumn 2005 CPPIH had ppeyes closed down by getting their solicitors to write to the website host claiming defamation. The host acted without checking if it was defamatory (it can't be defamatory if it is fact - see the Dossier in Archives. Consultation!!
Shackled by a 1000 character limit, I was going on to say:
The same sort of disregard is happening now. PPI Forums, via their National Association, having largely found their own feet in their three years' existence - in spite of being hampered by CPPIH - are now lobbying the Lords which will be hearing the final stages of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill when Parliament re-convenes. They are united in saying this Bill should not abolish PPI Forums (which the Government promised it would not do only 18 months ago) to establish new structures called LINks, but build LINks on and around the attainments of PPI Forums. And that is being ignored too.
So too are the findings of the Parliamentary Health Committee's Inquiry into PPI published earlier this year.
Maybe I should attend further education classes to learn to become a full-blooded pessimist!!