Bill to abolish patients' forums criticised as “disgraceful”BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39105.360764.DB (Published 25 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:177
- Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
A UK government bill to reform the way patients and the public participate in decisions about local health services had its second reading this week in parliament, where it faces opposition from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill will abolish patients' forums and replace them with local involvement networks (LINks). It will also modify the duty to consult the public about changes in health service provision.
In the place of patients' forums, local authorities will be put under a duty to make contractual arrangements for the involvement of people in the commissioning, provision, and scrutiny of health services and social services.
LINks will cover social care services as well as health, will be established for a geographical area, and will …