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Volunteer Retention

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures she has put in place to try to ensure volunteer retention during the introduction of Local Involvement Networks (LINks); and what national guidelines will be put in place for the appointment of individuals to positions on LINks. (113111)

We expect that existing groups, especially patient and public involvement (PPI) forums, should form the basis of local involvement networks (LINks) membership and the starting point for further recruitment. We are very keen that we do not lose the experience and expertise of forum members and members of other established patient, service user and public involvement groups.

Central guidance will be made available after the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill receives Royal Assent in 2007. This guidance will include advice on LINks membership, but will not be prescriptive. Essentially, the decision to recruit members will remain local. However, we would encourage current patient forum members to transfer their experience and knowledge to LINks and would like them to be a major part in the formation of them.