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NEW SUPPORT FOR LOCAL AUTHORITY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEES

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Health minister Rosie Winterton today announced further support for ...
Health minister Rosie Winterton today announced further support for

local authority overview and scrutiny committees to carry out their

reviews of health services. This support will include a one off

payment of £2.25m to help local authorities in their new health

scrutiny role.

Speaking at the New Local Government Network Conference 'Scrutinising

Local Health Delivery' in London, Ms Winterton announced that the

department was to make a one off payment to the Centre for Public

Scrutiny (CPS) who, in association with the Local Government

Association, will aid the long term development of health overview

and scrutiny committees (OSCs). This work will be developed through:

- rigorous monitoring and evaluation, to support learning from

experience, and to develop more effective ways of working and

better health outcomes

- the development of good practice

- the identification and spread of work that has led to health

improvements

- and through piloting, facilitation and support including

publications and guidance

A new steering group will be set up to manage these arrangements. The

group will include stakeholders from both the NHS and local

government.

Ms Winterton said:

'The government believes that the NHS belongs to the public. That is

why we are putting in place a programme of reform that will yield

benefits for the public for years to come. This includes giving the

public the choice of where and how they are treated. But to make

those choices, the public must be better informed. We have to enable

citizens, communities and populations to have greater influence over

issues and decisions that affect their health.

'Scrutiny by local authority overview and scrutiny committees will

enable local people to have more democratic control of their

healthcare. Local authorities have a fundamental role to play as

community leaders, promoting and ensuring the wellbeing of local

peopl e. I believe absolutely that patients and the public should, and

are able to, take more and more control of their health, as well as

their health services.

'Through scrutiny the NHS will be more accountable to local people

through democratically elected councillors. The NHS must involve

OSCs, and by doing this the service will build even closer links with

local communities.'

New guidance was also made available today to help councillors and

scrutiny officers get to grips with the NHS in their area.

Notes

The CPS was established to promote the value of scrutiny in modern

and effective government - not only to hold executives to account but

also to create a constructive dialogue between the public and its

elected representatives - to improve the quality of public services.

Further information is available on the internet at: www.cfps.org.uk

The New Local Government Network (NLGN) is an independent think-tank,

seeking to transform public services, revitalise local political

leadership and empower local communities. www.nlgn.org.uk. The

guidance for councillors and scrutiny officers is available on the

Department of Health website.

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