Personal and Public Involvement (PPI)

Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) is the active, effective involvement of those who use our services, carers and the public to discuss: their ideas, our plans; their experiences, our experiences; why services need to change; what people want from services; how to make the best use of resources; and how to listen to these views and therefore improve the quality and safety of services.

The term Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) is used to describe the concept and practice of involving people and local communities in the planning, commissioning, delivery and evaluation of the services they receive.  PPI is a central policy in the HSC drive to make our services more ‘person centred’.

Sections 19 and 20 of the Health and Social Services (Reform) Northern Ireland Act 2009 place a statutory requirement on each organisation to outline how service users, carers and the public will be involved and consulted on:

  • The planning of the provision of care;
  • The development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way that care is provided; and
  • Decisions to be made that affect the provision of care.

Role of PPI Officer

The PPI officer is responsible for driving, enabling and facilitating the delivery of PPI across the PHA and the wider HSC system working in partnership with service users, carers and the wider Community and Voluntary sector.  They are responsible for supporting the development of a strategic and integrated approach to promoting and facilitating the embedding of PPI into the culture, ethos and practice of the PHA and wider HSC.

Further information on Personal and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland can be found on the Engage website ­

Engage website logo

Michelle Tennyson is the Assistant Director with responsibility for Allied Health Professions, Personal and Public Involvement, and Patient Client Experience. The AHP, PPI and PCE teams in the Public Health Agency (PHA) sit within the Nursing and AHP Directorate.

Rationale for PPI

PPI is now a legislative requirement for Health and Social Care organisations as laid down in the Health and Social Services (Reform) Northern Ireland Act 2009.  While PPI may be relatively new term, the concept is not. The HSC system has long recognised the benefits of meaningful and effective engagement of service users, carers and the public. 

DHSSPS guidance issued in 2007 sets out the core values and principles to which guide our approach to PPI.

PPI is core to the effective and efficient commissioning, design and delivery of HSC services. It can and does make a real difference when it is taken on board and acted upon. We are working proactively to embed PPI into our practice and culture. Effective PPI can and does:

  • increase ownership of services;
  • increase self-responsibility for health and social care;
  • ensure responsive and appropriate services;
  • help in priority setting and decision making;
  • reduce perceived power imbalances;
  • contribute to tackling health and social wellbeing inequalities;
  • reduce complaints;
  • reduce serious adverse incidents;
  • increase levels of service satisfaction;
  • acknowledge rights;
  • increase levels of accountability;
  • improve dignity and self-worth;
  • increase staff and patient morale.

PHA’s role & the Regional HSC PPI Forum

The PHA has responsibility for leading implementation of policy on PPI across HSC.  This primacy has been given to the PHA as a result of Policy Guidance, the Legislation (HSC (Reform) Act (NI) 2009) and the Department’s Health and Social Care Framework Document.  The PHA has a wide range of additional Leadership responsibilities in PPI, which were confirmed with the issuing of a further Departmental Circular on PPI in September 2012.

Many of these functions are delivered through the Regional HSC PPI Forum, which is chaired, serviced and managed by the PHA. The Forum, led by the PHA, has been established on a collaborative basis with other HSC organisations.  The Forum is chaired by Mary Hinds, the Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions and is comprised of senior representation from all HSC organisations in Northern Ireland.  Service users and carers also form part of its membership. Working with and through the Forum, the PHA is responsible for:

  • establishing and leading the Regional HSC PPI Forum
  • encouraging collaboration, consistency and coordination in approach to PPI across HSC
  • raising awareness about PPI and communication
  • the provision of professional advice, guidance and information on PPI
  • encouraging and facilitating PPI to be embedded into HSC culture & practice
  • the Production of Annual Report on PPI
  • commissioning of PPI training for HSC
  • design, development and implementation of monitoring mechanisms and arrangements for PPI in the HSC system
  • ensuring that HSC Trusts meet their PPI statutory and policy responsibilities.
  • provision of assurances to the DHSSPS in respect of Trust compliance with the Statutory Duty to Involve and Consult
  • commissioning of research and the production of report into the barriers to involvement & ways to overcome these.


Opportunities to become involved

This register - Opportunities to become involved.pdf - provides a list of opportunities for service users, carers and the public to get involved in the PHA. 

All participants who get involved are entitled to claim eligible out of pocket expenses and an induction will be provided. 

Check out Engage for further information on getting involved in health and social care.


The PHA has designated key staff with PPI responsibility. Mary Hinds, the Executive Director for Nursing and Allied Health Professions, carries directorial responsibility for PPI at our management team. Michelle Tennyson, the Assistant Director for Allied Health Professions and PPI, carries responsibility at Assistant Director level.

Martin Quinn is the Regional Lead for PPI and is supported by Claire Fordyce and Roisin Kelly, the Senior Officers for PPI. The PPI team lead the key work streams on PPI both within the PHA and the collaborative work across the HSC and provide professional leadership, advice and guidance on PPI.

PPI strategy

The PHA led an extensive process of engagement in respect of the development of a joint PPI strategy with the HSCB.  This included seeking the views on the preparation, content, purpose and goals of a PPI strategy. A series of workshops were held in to inform the development of our consultation schemes and PPI strategy. Among these were workshops with the Regional HSC PPI Forum and workshops held specifically with community and voluntary sector partners.

These helped gain their insight into PPI, what it can deliver and how best the HSC can work with service users, carers, the community and voluntary sector and the wider public to embed PPI into our culture and practice.

Further workshops were held throughout Northern Ireland aimed at further involving health and social care staff, the community and voluntary sector, service users and the general public. Input was secured from marginalised and excluded groups by using targeted approaches; and one-to-one interviews were conducted with key HSC staff.

Valuing People, Valuing Their Participation - A Strategy for Personal and Public Involvement for the Public Health Agency and Health and Social Care Board was then launched and will be updated during 2015 / 16.  Key priority areas of work identified in the strategy included:-

  • cultural integration of PPI;
  • awareness and understanding of PPI;
  • training and skills development;
  • impact measurement;
  • stakeholder support;
  • communication and coordination.

PPI Standards

The PHA working in partnership with the Regional HSC PPI Forum has developed five standards for PPI.  These set out what is expected of HSC organisations and staff and will help standardise practice and support the drive towards a truly person-centred system.  The five standards are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Governance
  3. Opportunities and support for involvement
  4. Knowledge and skills
  5. Measuring outcomes

Further information on the PPI standards is available here

PPI Monitoring

The PPI Standards and associated KPIs have been used as a framework to gather information for the PPI monitoring process.

The HSC Trusts alongside the PHA were the first organisations subject to the monitoring process.  The monitoring reports have been developed for each and are available by clicking on the relevant organisation below:




The monitoring process will be extended during 2015/16 with other HSC organisations.

PPI Annual report

The PHA develops an annual report on PPI which gives an insight into the workings of the regional HSC PPI Forum and provides a sense of work undertaken by the forum members to deliver on our PPI responsibilities.

Access the Regional Health and Social Care Personal and Public Involvement Forum Annual Reports below.

Annual Update Report 2017/18

Annual Update Report 2016/17

Annual Update Report 2015/16

Annual Update Report 2014/15

Annual Update Report 2013/14

Annual Update Report 2012/13

Promotion and advancement of PPI

Engage has been developed by the Public Health Agency as a central resource for involvement in Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland. This website will provide staff, service users, carers and the public with a wide range of information, guides and links to support Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) in HSC.  The resource was developed in partnership with staff, service users and carers and  will support Involvement in Health and Social Care and showcase the difference it can make. There are also a range of resources and tools to support HSC to involve service users, carers and the public.  Check out Engage at

The PHA has previously operated a programme of support for PPI across HSC.  The purpose of the funding is to act as an action research initiative to test new approaches. With the intention that good practice is identified, shared and replicated for the benefit of service users and carers.

The PHA has committed over £400,000 to progress the Promotion and Advancement Grant Programme for PPI in the last four years. It has been designed, led and managed by the PHA and has supported in excess of 70 projects/programmes.

Details of Evaluation reports for these and previous projects are available on request.

Further information

If you wish to find out more information about PPI, about what the PHA is doing to deliver on its responsibilities in this matter, or have examples of good practice that you would wish to share, please feel free to contact the PPI Team:

Michelle Tennyson
Assistant Director, Allied Health Professions, PPI and 10,000 More Voices
Public Health Agency 
4th Floor, Linenhall Street

Tel: 0300 555 0114 

Martin Quinn
Regional PPI Lead
Public Health Agency
15 Gransha Park
Clooney Road
Tel: 028 7186 0086

Claire Fordyce
Senior Officer – PPI
Public Health Agency 
4th Floor, Linenhall Street

Tel: 0300 555 0114 

Roisin Kelly
Senior Officer – PPI
Public Health Agency 
4th Floor, Linenhall Street

Tel: 0300 555 0114