Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Community Health Councils (CHCs) and their supporters have reacted angrily to a renewed threat of abolition. CHC ab...
Community Health Councils (CHCs) and their supporters have reacted angrily to a renewed threat of abolition. CHC abolition forms a part of the

National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Bill, published

on Friday by the government.

In the last parliamentary session the proposed abolition provoked intense

criticism from professional bodies, patient organisations, MPs and health

campaigners. The measure was finally overturned in the lords in May.

Angeline Burke, senior policy officer at the Association of Community Health

Councils, commented:

'The proposed alternatives to CHCs, as set out in the bill,

fall far short of meeting the widespread concerns about the independence of

the new bodies and their lack of integration.'

'If the secretary of state pushes ahead with the bill in its

current form patients will lose a respected, effective, independent health

Watchdog and in its place they will get a system that is more fragmented,

more confusing to the public and less independent.'

'We are particularly disappointed to find that the

government has turned its back on the idea of patients' councils with

statutory powers, an idea put forward by David Hinchliffe, chair of the

health select committee, that enjoyed cross party support. We will be

raising all these concerns with the secretary of state for health.'


* CHCs were established in 1974 as patient advocates within the NHS.

Over the past 26 years they have been at the forefront of ensuring that the

patients' voice is heard and their complaints listened to. Most recently,

they played a pivotal role in ensuring that Rodney Ledward was exposed, and

that the victims of Harold Shipman were supported.

* Each year CHCs assist around 30,000 people with complaints.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.