Regional health scrutiny
Information about the role of overview and scrutiny in relation to regional health issues.
Overview and scrutiny plays an integral role into examining policies, performance and decisions of councils and their partners in the public sector, including the NHS. It is made up of local councillors, who have powers to inquire into, and make recommendations about, matters of local priority. For the council, this falls under the remit of the Adults, Wellbeing and Health Scrutiny Committee.
Regional Joint Health Scrutiny Committee
A Regional Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee was set up by the 12 local authorities in North East England. The Committee meets regularly to consider important health issues which affect the region, including proposals by NHS Commissioners and service providers which are considered to be substantial variations in or developments to health services.
The committee has considered proposals for potential service changes in respect of:
- Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Sustainability and Transformation Plan;
- Durham, Darlington and Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Sustainability and Transformation Plan;
- North East Urgent and Emergency Care Vanguard;
- North East and Cumbria Learning and Disabilities Fast Track Transformation Plan;
- North East Commissioning Support - Regional Back Pain Programme;
- Specialised Commissioning - NHS England North
- Congenital Heart Disease - Adults and Children
- Neo-Natal Intensive Care
- Paediatric High Dependency Care (Winter Pressures)
- Vascular Surgery
Agendas, reports and presentations in respect of these issues can be accessed via Hartlepool Borough Council - agendas, meetings and minutes.
Regional review into the health needs of ex-service community
In 2010, the Overview and Scrutiny Committees of the 12 local authorities in the North East region came together to focus on one key issue, the health needs of ex-servicemen
The review aimed to address the possible inequalities in health experienced by the ex-service community by:
- Improving understanding of the health needs and experiences of the ex-service community, compared with the general population
- Looking into how a wide range of statutory and voluntary organisations help to meet those needs, and how that can be improved.
In June 2011, the Review won two Centre for Public Scrutiny awards, one in the joint working category, and the second overall award for the Impact of Scrutiny.
Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Board and Health Scrutiny) Regulations - Provision for Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
The Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Board and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013 require the formation of a joint scrutiny agreement, where an NHS body or relevant health service provider consults more than one local authority on proposals to make substantial variations or developments to services. They provide that all the local authorities whose residents receive such services must participate in the joint scrutiny arrangement for the purpose of responding to the consultation, using the method most appropriate to the areas and issues being considered.
Two such Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees have been established involving Durham County Council.
- A joint Committee consisting of Durham County Council, Hartlepool Borough Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council was established to examine proposals to review North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trusts' Emergency Medical and Critical Care services. This Committee's work concluded in 2014.
- A joint Committee consisting of Darlington Borough Council, Durham County Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, Middlesbrough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council was established in July 2016 to oversee the Better Health Programme. This work is ongoing.