Scrutinising the new health system? Health and wellbeing boards

There’s a quick guide to health and wellbeing boards on the Department of Health website, explaining how they are intended to guide spending decisions under the new health system, where clinical commissioning groups control £60bn of spending. Some highlights for those interested in the scrutiny role:

“Boards will strengthen democratic legitimacy by involving democratically elected representatives and patient representatives in commissioning decisions alongside commissioners across health and social care. The boards will also provide a forum for challenge, discussion, and the involvement of local people.”

The board’s membership includes at least:

  • one local elected representative
  • a representative of local Healthwatch organisation
  • a representative of each local clinical commissioning group
  • the local authority director for adult social services
  • the local authority director for children’s services
  • the director of public health for the local authority

The boards are currently operating in ‘shadow’ form, but will take on their statutory functions from April 2013, at the same time as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) take over.

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About Paul Bradshaw

Founder of Help Me Investigate. I'm a visiting professor at City University London's School of Journalism, and run an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University. I publish the Online Journalism Blog, and am the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook and Magazine Editing (3rd edition). I have a particular interest in Freedom of Information and data journalism.

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