Agenda item

Joint Health Scrutiny


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities, which informed Members of a draft protocol for the establishment of Joint Health Scrutiny arrangements across Cheshire and Merseyside.


The Board was advised that a joint Health Scrutiny Officer’s meeting had taken place in September 2013.  The meeting had focused on the requirements under the new Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013 (a summary was attached at Appendix 1 to the report), to form joint scrutiny committees where there was a substantial development/variation proposal which was to impact on more than one Local Authority area and how as a Cheshire and Merseyside region we should respond to this requirement.


The Board was further advised that discussions at the meeting had centred on the feasibility of developing a Cheshire and Merseyside regional protocol for dealing with joint scrutiny committees. Issues initially raised included; Local Authorities experiences of previous joint scrutiny committees e.g. Vascular Services; communication issues; who would lead and support on joint scrutiny arrangements; potential barriers such as an appropriate number of representatives; level of commitment from Local Authorities; and the option for Local Authorities to ‘opt out’ of a joint scrutiny if they decided that a proposal was not a substantial development/variation etc.  It was reported that generally, officers present were receptive to the concept of having a workable region wide protocol and Knowsley had agreed to take the lead/facilitate on the development of the protocol.


It was reported that the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board had met with a small group of officers to review the draft protocol with a view to returning comments. The comments included:-


·             Page 3 – Footnote; The NHS Commissioning Board no longer exists, it should be NHS England;


·             Page 6 – Membership; Members chose OPTION 1 with the following amendments:-


      Only 1 nominated Elected Member or

      nominated substitute from each participating

      authority, whether it be 2 or 9 local

      authorities.; and


      Include the quorate in the protocol; and


·             Page 5 – Paragraph 6.5.2 – to include ‘officer support’.  It was highlighted that after the experience of a joint committee to look at vascular support, it was felt that the Authority would like officer support at the meetings.  Due to the complexity of the issue and there being numerous authorities involved, there was a considerable delay in receiving the minutes etc. and it had made it very difficult to keep everyone up to date on the progress. This would enable Health Board’s and Members to be updated quickly and on a regular basis.


Furthermore, it was reported that the Authority were currently awaiting feedback from Knowsley on the comments returned by the other Local Authorities and how potentially the draft would change as a result and the timescales for this.  To date, it had been reported that Halton had chosen Option 1 and The Wirral had chosen Option 2, based on population which would be a disadvantage for Halton as a small Authority.  In addition a further slightly amended report had been received and this would be considered by the Chairman, Vice Chairman and lead officer and the Board would be kept up to date on the progress of the protocol on a regular basis.


Members were encouraged to feedback any comments on the protocol or any additional comments via email to the Chairman and Vice Chairman.




(1)        the report and associated appendices and comments raised be noted; and


(2)        the Board note the draft protocol as attached as Appendix 2, to the report.


Supporting documents: