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NHS: Public Participation

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to give local involvement networks (a) a larger budget than patient forums and (b) year-on-year budgetary increases. (190251)

The Department received an allocation of £84 million over three years from HM Treasury to fund the establishment and costs incurred by local involvement networks and has no plans to bid for any further funds. The allocations to local authorities (LAs) were based on two elements used in many similar cases to take account of key geographical factors such as deprivation, sparsity, area costs, etc. The first was a general baseline payment of £60,000 awarded to each LA. The second was calculated according to the Relative Needs Formula, which is used to allocate funding to LAs in other areas of work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to require the National Centre for Involvement to provide information, advice and learning opportunities to patients, NHS service users and local involvement network members to improve consultation at national, regional and local level in the NHS. (190254)

The NHS Centre for Involvement (NCI) is a consortium of organisations comprising the University of Warwick, Centre for Public Scrutiny and Long Term Conditions Alliance. The NCI has been contracted by the Department to promote more effective patient and public involvement and consultation and to provide support, advice and guidance to stakeholders in this respect.

The NCI is delivering a major programme of work to support those involved in local involvement networks, specifically local authorities as well as voluntary and community sector partners. The NCI is also responsible more generally for working with national health service staff and organisations to look at how they involve patients and the public in improving health services.