Public involvement in health care

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7437.462-b (Published 19 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:462

Process needs to be transparent and open

  1. Ike Anya, specialist registrar, public health (ikechuku.anya{at}lshtm.ac.uk)
  1. Bristol North Primary Care Trust, Bristol BS2 8EE

    EDITOR—Florin and Dixon raise important points about the need for clarity on the issue of increased public involvement in decision making in the NHS.1 Two points are worth emphasising.

    Firstly, the entire process could be reduced to a tickbox exercise in which trusts co-opt “tame” representatives to rubber stamp decisions.

    Secondly, “professional” public representatives could emerge whose views are not necessarily representative of the public's and who turn up as public representatives on every committee and board.

    The process by which the public is involved in making health service decisions needs to be transparent and open and may require extra effort, to ensure that the process is indeed inclusive.


    • Competing interests IA is employed by the NHS


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