The rationale for arrangements to strengthen the voice of local people is to widen and broaden people’s influence over their services, rather than to reflect the amount or quality of the work undertaken by Community Health Councils (CHCs) and patient and public involvement (PPI) forums.
We know from listening to people during the review of patient and public involvement that more people want to have a greater say about their local services. It is no longer appropriate to have a PPI system which is based around scrutiny of individual services. The new local involvement networks will be able to consider both health and social care, so that PPI can be joined up across the entire patient journey. Crucially, we want more people involved having influence in different ways according to their lifestyle, experience and skills. We will build on the existing experience and knowledge from patients’ forums.
There were 184 Community Health Councils and in the main they reflected local authority boundaries, although there were a number of exceptions to this rule.
There is no direct correlation between the areas covered by CHCs and patient and public involvement forums, as forums relate to national health service organisations rather than to a specific geographical area.
There will be 150 local involvement networks corresponding exactly to the number of local authorities with social services responsibilities.