Notes from the field of public involvement

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

London's "clutter of institutions" undermines community engagement

The final report (mercifully short at 79 pages) and minutes of evidence (500+ pages) from the Commission on London Governance published last week found that the "clutter of institutions running the capital's services undermine attempts to engage communities with service providers". There is some juicy reading here. Changes the Commission would like to see in London's healthcare are likely to cause a few flutters in NHS board rooms and town halls. Here are the four big ones for health:

  1. Abolishing the Boards of Governors of Foundation Trusts because they are ineffective and unrepresentative
  2. Statutory places for Councillors and Assembly members on the Board of Directors of FTs and other NHS Trusts
  3. Top performing boroughs (like Wandsworth and other “four star” councils) should be allowed to take over health commissioning from PCTs, with health and social care budgets pooled into a single resource
  4. Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees should expand their role to include formally representing the public and patient interest in local NHS institutions.

What do blog readers think about these proposals? M-A-C would like to see to see the OSC role expand. This should include taking on independent lay assessors to join elected councillors in a scrutiny role that spans health and social care.

Download the Commission's report from www.london.gov.uk/assembly/reports/londongov.jsp

Andrew Craig | Send feedback