Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (Professor Marcus Longley) Review of June 2012 into Community Health Councils (CHCs) made a number of recommendations for improvements to CHCs following an earlier reorganisation in 2010. The report recommended a strengthened role for the CHC Board in leading CHCs to more effectively discharging their functions. Since then there have been a number of other reports which have also made recommendations about the way CHCs carry out their duties.
The Welsh Government consulted on amendments to the Community Health Councils (Constitution, Membership And Procedures) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (the Amendment Regulations) and the Community Health Councils (Establishment, Transfer Of Functions And Abolition) (Wales) Order 2015 (the Order), to provide a number of changes which will help achieve, in the shorter term, many of the policy intentions arising from the various reports.
The consultation with stakeholders ran for eight weeks from 10 November 2014 until 9 January 2015 following a previous full consultation in 2012 on the Longley report. Thirty responses were received to the consultation, three of which were received shortly after the closing date and were also taken into account.
Following the consultation, the Amendment Regulations were changed further to accommodate some of the comments received, namely:
- The term “non-executive director” will no longer be used to describe the members of the CHC Board to be appointed by the Welsh Ministers through the Public Appointments process.
- The title “Chief Officer” will be retained although there must be co-operation in working across CHCs and at a national level.
- Ministers will only be able to co-opt members onto a CHC on the advice of the CHC Board.
- The terms of office for CHC chairs has been extended to a maximum of three years.
A summary of consultation responses will now be published, setting out the themes raised in the consultation responses, the subsequent changes to the Amendment Regulations, and the Welsh Government’s response to the consultation. The summary report can be accessed online.
Further to the report being published, the Amendment Regulations and Order will now both be laid before the National Assembly for Wales and it is anticipated that they will come into force on 1 April 2015.