Public / Patient Participation in the new Structure? Think Again.

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March 15, 2013 by Protect Our NHS

Some of us are trying to see what is going on inside the system.  Two of my colleagues attended separate meetings this week.  These are their brief reports, but it’s enough to make you weep and it makes it entirely clear how the government is able to push through so much so fast.  How?  Because (in the words of the great Hollywood scriptwriter, William Goldman, about Hollywood executives): “Nobody knows anything!”

“I attended the final Local Involvement Network meeting this week (it becomes HealthWatch from April) and several members expressed concern that they hadn’t achieved anything over the last 5 years. The funding that should have been available didn’t materialise, 5 volunteers were trained to undertake visits into hospitals and this year only one visit was undertaken. They also complained about not having information or any understanding of the the health reforms which made me prompt the question ‘How can it be that the people who are in the system don’t know anything about it and feel so dis-empowered?  How does Jo public make any sense of what is going on if you don’t know ?'”

And from another colleague who went to a Patient Participation Group meeting at his local surgery – and by the way our local CCG-in-waiting is claiming this is where all the patient involvement will come from:

I attended the PPG last evening. It was an interesting 
experience and somewhat alarming in that the entire 
meeting agenda was focused on very local patient 
surgery issues. These ranged from redecoration of 
waiting rooms, the removal of toys for H&S reasons, 
to some patient feedback on service provision 
from the practice. The only time any mention was 
made about the forthcoming legislation was a 
comment about Specsavers being given a National 
remit to provide hearing aids and the possible 
on-costs for GPs. The meeting itself was well 
chaired but the 15 or so members seemed to 
have no questions about the future. I came 
away wondering if they were naive, ill-informed 
or not wanting to raise the spectre of 
reorganisation."
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