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    Speaking the truth to power is always a risky business.  No more so than when considering how millions of pounds of public money should be shovelled into developments and contracts. Local government overview & scrutiny has been with us since the Local Government Act 2000 and the advent of the cabinet system and executive mayors. In the case of executive mayors –  a single politician making the decisions to spend millions of pounds of public money albeit with the advice of officers and an appointed cabinet – it is easy to see how local councillors could feel disempowered if they […]
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    This consultation on local authority health scrutiny runs until 7 September 2012 The changes proposed in this consultation will update the arrangements and regulations for local authority health scrutiny and help to ensure that the interests of patients and the public are at the heart of the planning, delivery and reconfiguration of health services. The consultation seeks views on whether health service reconfiguration and referrals should also include a: requirement for local authorities and the NHS to agree and publish clear timescales for making a decision on whether a proposal should be referred new intermediate referral stage to the NHS Commissioning Board […]
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    As the UK moves to having four distinctive health care systems as a result of devolution, the role of local councillors in relation to health matters becomes less uniform. For example, unlike Wales, where health and local government bodies have been coterminous since 1974, England remains a patchwork quilt of overlapping health and local government bodies which is made worse by the ever increasing privatisation of both health and local authority services. This short article captures some common issues about which councillors across the UK might want to think. Topics covered include: scrutiny and public consultations, shaping integrated systems, and […]
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    Councillors in England  have two formal routes to influence the NHS – the Scrutiny Committees and the Health and Wellbeing Board.  We need more discussion about good and bad practice in the running of these committees, which clearly varies widely.  There should be a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and a Health& Well being Strategy which have been publicly discussed for each area. Public Health It’s very easy to get sucked into defending individual NHS institutions, but we think it’s more important in the long term to focus on health inequalities.  Local Councils can do a lot more to address inequality […]
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