The Department of Health has confirmed it is to appoint a public health expert and a pharmacist to plug holes in its reform review panel.
The initial 40 clinicians, patient representatives and charities were announced as members of the Future Forum last week, but the list was criticised for ignoring key groups.
Nearly half of the 38 comments about the membership list on the DH website contained criticism about the lack of a public health voice on the panel. Most noted the previous high billing given to the subject in government reform policy documents.
The lack of public health representation was described last week as “profoundly disappointing” by Faculty of Public Health president Lindsey Davies.
Association of Directors of Public Health chief executive Nicola Close said: “Any changes to the reforms will have considerable implications for public health. Public health should be involved in discussions.”
A DH spokeswoman told HSJ this week a small number of additional forum members would be appointed “shortly”, to include “someone with public health expertise”. HSJ understands this will be ADPH president Frank Atherton.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society said it had also received notification from the DH that a pharmacist would be added to the panel but their identity was yet to be confirmed.
Members of the group representing NHS provider trusts were due to meet prime minister David Cameron on Tuesday, and the whole group was due to meet for the first time on Wednesday.