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Improving NHS Services

The role of Community Health Councils when the NHS wants to change services

Change happens in the NHS every day in hospitals, in GP practices and in other community services. Health Boards must tell their local CHC when they want to make a change that affects people. CHCs must work with their Health Board whenever it is thinking about making a change. CHCs represent the interests of public and patients. CHCs make sure that NHS organisations ask people for their views and listen to what they have to say.

We act as the public voice in letting health service managers know what people want and expect, and the improvements they would like to see.  We achieve this by seeking the views of patients and the public regarding local services, and listening to what individuals and the community have to say about the local health service with regard to quality, availability and access. We use this information to inform our work with the health board.

We monitor and scrutinise the health services to ensure safety and quality, and work with service planners and providers to improve patient experiences of the services.  This is achieve this through scheduled, unannounced visits to monitor and scrutinise the quality of service provision and the environment in which they are delivered from the patient’s perspective. We use this information to make recommendations for improvement where necessary.

We must be consulted about any changes to health services in our area, and in turn, we involve the public through local consultations. We use this information to make sure that any prolonged changes reflect the views and expectations of the public.

We help patients, carers or relatives raise concerns/complaints about the health service when things go wrong.  We achieve this by providing a free, independent, confidential, non-legal and client-led advocacy service.

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