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NHS: Public Participation

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements there are for local involvement network (LINk) members to be provided with legal indemnity by his Department when they undertake activities on behalf of a LINk. (206243)

There are no central arrangements to provide indemnity for those involved in local involvement networks. This is a matter to be determined locally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make provision for a financial loss allowance for members of local involvement networks; (206244)

(2) if he will take steps to ensure local involvement network (LINk) members are paid expenses by the host organisation when they undertake activities on behalf of a LINk.

It is for each local involvement network (LINk) to determine its own policy regarding payment and reimbursement, including the payment of allowances and expenses. We have reminded LINks, and host organisations, that the Department’s “Reward and Recognition: The principles and practice of service user payment and reimbursement in health and social care” document provides a useful guide on these matters. Copies of this publication are available in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether budgets for local involvement networks will be increased to reflect the additional responsibilities they have compared with patients’ forums. (206245)

Local involvement networks operate in different ways and are funded differently from the way patients’ forums operated and were funded and the methods are not comparable. The amounts provided to local authorities (LAs) have been worked out according to the needs of each LA area. We have no plans to review the funding allocations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consider the merits of funding local involvement networks to help establish networks to monitor (a) cancer, (b) mental health, (c) ambulance and (d) other services commissioned regionally and nationally. (206247)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 10 March 2008, Official Report, column 96W.