Published: 14/03/2002, Volume II2, No. 5796 Page 9

The public's views could go unheard as primary care trusts struggle to implement public involvement, a report from the King's Fund claims. It looked at the activities of six London primary care organisations and says PCTs are in danger of becoming distant, corporate bodies.

Applying national policy to local circumstances on public involvement in the organisations has not proved easy and the community focus that characterised primary care groups is in danger of being lost, it says.

The main barriers to public involvement work are that 'it remains chronically underfunded; it is too focused on shortterm initiatives rather than long-term organisational support; and not enough commitment is made at the outset to achieving identifiable changes in policy or practice'.

Report author and King's Fund primary care director Dr Steve Gillam said: 'Public involvement should not drop down the agenda and should be encouraged at practice level.'

Every Voice Counts: primary care organisations and public involvement . King's Fund.

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