Debate: Community Health Councils 20/9/17

Can I welcome the White Paper, which addresses the issue of how we should engage better with citizens in terms of service delivery? I think it’s clear that the more we work with service users, the more likely it is that we are going to get a better and successful model of service delivery. The recent experience, for example, of the Gellinudd Recovery Centre, where patients have a say in everything from policy to the decorations, has led to not just a better service, but also to predicted savings of £300,000 to the NHS. So, one of the areas that’s being suggested in this White Paper that is ripe for reform is that body of community health councils, which are embedded in local communities around Wales. That’s clearly where we have all focused our attention today.

I think the community health councils themselves would be the first to put up their hands and agree that there is a need for reform. An obvious point is the fact that, at the moment, they have the right to speak on behalf of the public in relation to health, but not in relation to social care. It’s clear that we want to see better integration, and so there’s an example of where something needs to change.