CPPIH Press Release 17 Feb 2004 (draft)


Draft: 1

Tuesday, 17 February 2004

I:CPPIHPress ReleasesSouth East releasesanant m vyas.doc

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MILTON KEYNES RESIDENT CHAMPIONS HEALTH

Milton Keynes resident, Anant M Vyas, has become one of the first people in Buckinghamshire to join a new network of health forums now working across England.

His appointment to the new Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Forums, affiliated to MKPCT (Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust) follows a recruitment drive across the region by the organisation charged with establishing the Forums, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH). Within it he is held Deputy Chairman.

Anant’s successful application means he now joins nearly 4,500 people who became members of the 572 PPI Forums in December 2003. 

He said; “The PPI Forums are a very worthy and august cause.  I got involved because I want to champion improvements in public health for all, especially where older people and other excluded communities are concerned.”

“I do a lot of voluntary work and have an ability to deliver change and outcomes that matter to the wider community, which I enjoy.  There are a lot of people in society who are not as determined and tenacious enough as me to see things through for those disadvantaged especially in Social Housing within which I have dedicatedly served for the past 26 years. I want to make sure that they still have a voice when it comes also to health issues as ill health stems from unfit housing.”

“ People experiencing material disadvantage, lower educational achievement  &/or unemployment usually suffer poorer health and earlier death compared to the rest of the population.”

“ The reasons for these differing health outcomes are intricate but are linked to peoples’ social circumstances such as living in non-decent homes[1], their work, family income, poverty during childhood, educational achievement, age, race, gender, whether otherwise vulnerable or having special needs. These circumstances affect their behaviour such as smoking, alcohol consumption, reduced exercise and damaging nutrition thus directly affecting their health. As if this was not enough, there is also the critical issue of poor access (admittance) to health services coupled with the effectiveness with which people use them.”

“It is incumbent upon all of us, as parents as well as public servants, to do whatever within our power to arrest the cycle of disadvantage beginning with our own children’s nutritional, physical, educational, intellectual, environmental, social, economic and psychological wellbeing in the essence of the truism ‘prevention better than the cure’”

“ I am proud of have founded and implemented innovative and business critical ways of delivering customer-focused, cost-effective and timely Social Housing Management services as far back as 1984 addressing the psychosomatic damage faced by those homeless especially their children and also delivering Safer Communities Initiative. It is, therefore, very endearing to realise that the current Government Initiatives including the ODPM’s Decent Homes Standard, Community Plan, Community Cohesion, & New Deal & New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal reflect my innovations, of some 20 years ago, that reduced significant costs not only to the Council I work for but also to the local NHS and the Police.”

Anant is a frequent user of the NHS owing to Ischaemic and Coronary heart condition diagnosed a few years ago.  It was during this time that he became even more determined to push for changes in the NHS, bringing about changes in how the cardiac patients were assessed in A & E and referred to Consultants, how their views were taken on board and needs were assessed as customers, how the complaints were noted, escalated, dealt with, resolved and used as future training tools, how the dietary needs of all including those of minority ethnic groups were met without seriously compromising their health (by way of seriously deficient Ethnic Menus) especially in the Cardiac Wards, how his suggested concept of Total Quality Culture (now a statutory duty in patient-focused services) was considered by the Government.

He said, “Health is an issue that is very close to my heart, literally and emotionally.” 

Since 1983, Anant has held over 20 voluntary positions in and around Milton Keynes.  He has served as Chair of the School Governors, as a selected Candidate for Local Government Elections in Milton Keynes in 1985, a member of the organisation committee that serviced The Virat Hindu Summéllan[2] at Milton Keynes Bowl in 1989, as the first reserve Non-Executive Director of Milton Keynes Community NHS Trust, as an elected Parish Councillor, as a fund raiser for the MK Hospital Scanner Appeal[3], as a consultee to MK Council on joint project (with Midsummer Housing Association, MK & Gharana HA, Wellingborough) building Housing with Care Provision for the BME§ Elders of Milton Keynes, as an invited contributor to the Future of Charter Mark[4], as a hands on funds raiser for various charities including designing, preparing and delivering and serving over 500 free meals during the first Annual Function of the Shishu Kunj[5], as a Member of Workforce Development IDeA (Improvement & Development Agency of The Govt.) Group, as an expert evaluator on Race and Social Inclusion in IDeA Knowledge, as a contributor to The Commission for the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain.

Currently he is a member of IDeA e-Champions Network, also Championing Change for Older Peoples’ Services with the DoH & The Cabinet Office initiative – ‘Better Government for Older People’ and has been invited by ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) to participate in and contribute to its nationally organised seminars on Equality & Diversity beginning 23 February 2004 and Selected for Community Ambassadors Leadership Programme being Launched 26 March 2004 jointly funded by Milton Keynes Racial Equality Council, MK Council, Lottery Grants for Local Organisations & the Home Office.

People interested in becoming a PPI Forum member are being invited to call 0845 120 7115 for an application pack, or visit www.maketimeforhealth.org.

 

-ENDS-

Notes for Editors

1.     The PPI Forums will

  • Find out what people really think about health locally and take action
  • Independently watch over the quality of local healthcare
  • Shape decisions which impact on our health
  • Be a force for fairness and change

2.     The independent local Patient and Public Involvement forums are supported by the Commission’s nine regional resource centres and a network of Forum Support Organisations – who will provide support for the new forum members.  There is a PPI Forum for every health Trust in England.

3.     About 5,000 new members are required to join the PPI Forums in 2004, with each Forum deciding the final number of members required.  Members of the public and patients are invited to sign up as registered members of the Commission’s wider health information network which will be developed over the next few years.

4.     The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health was set up in January 2003. It is an independent, non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health. Its remit is to ensure that the public is involved in decision making about health and health services.

[1] In 2000, the government made a commitment to bring all public sector homes up to a decent standard, establishing a 10 year target and an interim target to: "ensure that all social housing meets set standards of decency by 2010. The Government’s definition: In brief, a decent home will have to pass four tests:

(i) it must meet the current statutory minimum standard for housing
(ii) it must be in a reasonable state of repair
(iii) it must have reasonably modern facilities and services
(iv) it must provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort i.e. effective heating with effective insulation.

[2] Worldwide Hindu Gathering: where over 80,000 Hindus Worldwide gathered for the first time outside India’s awe inspiring Kumbh Mela.

[3] at charity Cricket Match between MK Docs & St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London organised by (now World renowned) Dr Christopher B Lynch of MK NHS Gen Trust.

§ Black & Minority Ethnic

[4] (To The Charter Mark Marketing & Policy Unit, The Cabinet Office) as a Charter Mark Assessor.

[5] Shishu Kunj: Charity for and run by the children to learn, preserve, promote linguistic, cultural and secular heritage of Gujarati speaking Hindus of Milton Keynes.

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