Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) was first introduced as a concept by the Department in 2007. It is a central component of the quality agenda, which aims to improve health and social care service provision in Northern Ireland and the individual experiences of those who use these services.
The Health and Social Care Reform Act (NI) 2009 placed a statutory legislative requirement on certain HSC organisations to involve and consult patients, families, carers and local communities on the planning, delivery and evaluation of services.
In particular, HSC organisations were required to develop individual consultation schemes setting out how they would involve and consult with the Patient Client Council, service users and carers on:
- the planning of how their services are delivered
- the development and proposals for change in the way care is provided
- decisions affecting the provision of care
The Department engaged with HSC organisations in the development of their schemes and each body now has a consultation scheme, approved by the Department, in place. The Department also has its own PPI Consultation Scheme.
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has the responsibility for leading implementation of PPI policy across the HSC and for ensuring that HSC Trusts meet their PPI statutory and policy responsibilities. The PHA provides assurances to the Department in this regard through established accountability arrangements.