What is Health Scrutiny?
Since 2003, all county, metropolitan, London borough and unitary councils who have social services responsibilities have had the power to review, scrutinise and report on local NHS health provision on behalf of local people through their health Policy, Development and scrutiny committees.
As a local authority with social services responsibilities, Bath & North East Somerset Council therefore now has the power to scrutinise Health Services.
For more information, please download our health scrutiny frequently asked questions.
Health Scrutiny at Bath & North East Somerset Council
The The Health & Wellbeing Select Committee is the Council's statutory health scrutiny committee. Councillors on this Panel will examine the running and planning of local health services and call NHS managers to give information about decisions they make.
The Councillors’ role, as representatives of the public, is to hold to account the local health organisations when they are making big decisions about the future of health care provision in Bath & North East Somerset.
In considering its role, the Panel has emphasised that it intends to provide strategic rather than detailed involvement in local health issues – the emphasis being on the ‘overview’ rather than ‘scrutiny’ function.
In terms of process, where Bath & North East Somerset undertakes review based work for health scrutiny, it will follow the same methodology employed in other reviews. That is to undertake an evidence based investigation of a particular health issue through a project managed approach leading to a final report that makes recommendations to the NHS organisation under review. These reports can also be escalated to the Secretary of State for Health. Some Health Scrutiny Reviews are undertaken as a joint reviews with our neighbouring authorities. Details of previously health scrutiny reviews can be found in our review archive.
The Panel does not wish to be a first point of call to deal with individual, group or neighbourhood issues. Healthwatch are more suitable for this function and have the ability to refer issues to the Wellbeing Panel if necessary.