Health commission hires PR chief

The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health has hired Kevin Mockery from the Cabinet Office to become the body’s first head of comms.

Mockery, who was previously Cabinet Office Strategy Unit communications adviser, replaces interim head of comms Lynda Scott, who has been promoted within the civil service.

He reports to commission director of knowledge management David Orchard, who oversees a seven-strong national media team at the commission’s Birmingham HQ and individual comms staff at nine regional offices.

Set up last January to boost public and patient involvement in local healthcare, the organisation has recruited a network of 5,000 volunteers and is overseen by 12 commissioners.

‘The key issue for us is taking forward a brand new approach to empowering and involving patients in healthcare,’ Mockery said.

The commission has matched all 572 NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trusts and

Ambulance Trusts with Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPIF).

PPIFs were launched in February to replace Community Health Councils. They encourage local people to play an active role in health-related decision-making.

Meanwhile, Scott has started as assistant director of comms for a two-year contract within the Criminal Justice IT programme – which is working to increase data sharing between relevant bodies.

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