Health in Hackney's remit is to scrutinise local health and social care services, frequently making recommendations to NHS bodies and the Council to improve services. Health Scrutiny committees across the country have particular responsibilities, as laid out in the NHS Act 2006.
Full work programme and meetings
You can view the commission's full work programme for the year on the agenda for each of its meetings.
Holding local health and social care providers to account
Less than half the commission's work is taken up with reviews. For the remainder the commission considers regular updates from the following local NHS bodies:
- Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- East London Foundation Trust (for mental health services)
- City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group
- Barts Health NHS Trust
We also receive regular updates from:
- health and wellbeing board
- our health and community services directorate mainly on the transformation of adult social care
- City and Hackney safeguarding adults board
- public health
Members of Healthwatch Hackney are regular attendees at meetings, contributing fully to discussions and reviews and provide 6 month updates on their activities.
We also respond to any urgent issues which might arise and invite key officers from the Council or our partners to attend meetings to answer Members' questions. During 2014/2015 these one off items included:
- considering the implications of the removal of the GP minimum practice income guarantee, which could include the losses of some GP practices.
- looking into the issues identified from a Care Quality Commission inspection of the Homerton Hospital including issues relating to their maternity services
- ensuring that the Council and its partners were prepared for the implications of the new Care Act
- investigating the closure of the Median Rd Resource Centre, which provided intermediate and interim care for patients being discharged from hospital
Inner North East London joint health overview and scrutiny committee (INEL JHOSC)
When the NHS wishes to make a substantial variation to the way it provides services in the borough there is a formal requirement for them to consult the commission and seek its advice and endorsement. Increasingly service change proposals cover an area wider than the borough and in this case Hackney collaborates with neighbouring boroughs to consider these proposals at either the standing Inner North East London joint health overview and scrutiny committee or as part of any wider pan London committee which is created for that purpose.
There is more information about this process in the Centre for Public Scrutiny guidance.
In the past the commission has dealt with service change proposals on such subjects as: Older Peoples Mental Health Services, Urgent Care Services, Community Dental Practices and the Acute Trust merger proposals for Barts and East London Healthcare (i.e. the creation of Barts Health NHS Trust, now the largest in the country).
Three of our members sit on the INEL JHOSC with councillors from the Corporation of London, Newham and Tower Hamlets.
During 2014/15 focus was largely directed towards strategic level scrutiny of Barts Health NHS Trust, which was placed into Special Measures in March following failing a series of CQC inspections. The committee also considered the emerging proposals from the NHS called 'Transforming Services Together' which aim to re-shape NHS services across east London. The first formal proposals are expected in October 2015.
Read details of committee's meetings.