PiP was formally established over a tight series of meetings. On 21st January, an Open Meeting was held from 4pm to 7pm, with supper, at the Post-graduate Medical Centre behind Staffordshire General Hospital. Many of the working meetings had taken place there. Of greatest interest was the response to invitations to become a subscribing member of PiP that had been set out in the business case for the Partnership presented at the September Conference. 11 of the 14 organisations that had been involved in the preparatory work confirmed they would become members.
Whilst there were nominations for each of the three Partnership Officer positions that were specified in the draft Constitution and Terms of Reference for the proposed Steering Group – Chair, Lead Clinician (initially termed ‘Partnership Medical Adviser – 1 session’), and the Partnership Manager (part-time) other nominations were also invited. And there was a round up of news from the work groups.
On 11th February, the Steering Group met for the first time. The nominated Officers were appointed, enthusiastically. The draft constitution and terms of reference were discussed and any final comments invited for the next meeting on 11th March. A hefty schedule of meetings was agreed – 6 Steering Group Meetings, 3 Open Meetings and the Annual Conference each year. The Open meetings were to allow participation by interested and involved colleagues from Trusts which had not joined as members. 500 copies of the first annual report were to be printed!
Eleven of the fourteen Trusts that had been involved in the work-up of the Partnership eventually signed-up. The Partnership Steering Group was established including a representative from each member Trust, and five officers and advisers were appointed. A copy of the ‘Constitution and Terms of References’ for the Partnership Steering Group is available on request.” (Annual Report 2: p7)
The documents formally establishing the Partnership can be accessed using the links below. But one set of comments on the plans and proposals that were sent in shortly after the September Conference are worth noting here. They indicate the depth of experience and wisdom on which PiP was able to draw and, despite the somewhat direct tone, the goodwill that existed towards the initiative.