Health in Hackney scrutiny commission
In London we face significant public health challenge with the highest prevalence of HIV across the UK. The recent evidence of an increase in new HIV diagnoses - reversing a previous downward trend since 2003 - shows that boroughs are taking on the new public health responsibilities which include sexual health at a time when there is a need to refocus attention and energies in this area. Find out more about our controlling the transmission of HIV review.
About this commission
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.
You can view the Commission's full work programme for the year on the agenda for each of its meetings.
Commission Details: membership, meetings, and contacts
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
- The Council's Health and Community Services directorate mainly on the Transformation of Adult Social Care (TRASC) programme.
- City and Hackney Safeguarding Adults Board
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. A key example was the concern about the procurement of a new provider for the GP out of hours service. We take up urgent issues at a strategic level and cannot get involved in individual complaints.
In 2013-14 up to December, we dealt with the following one-off items:
- 111 urgent care phone services
- GP out of hours service also a follow-up after the contract was awarded
- Use of 084 numbers by GP practices
- Care Quality Commission future strategy and issues for Hackney
- St Joseph's Hospice draft quality accounts
- Implications of Francis Inquiry recommendations for scrutiny functions
- Reinvestment of savings from closure of walk-in centres and additional documents.
Service change proposals
If a health provider 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 approval. 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).
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 a wider pan London committee.
Inner North East London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Three of our Members also sit on the INEL JHOSC with councillors from the Corporation of London, Newham and Tower Hamlets. The Committee has been convened twice in 2012/13.
The first time was on 30 April 2013 to consider proposals from the NHS to change the provision of urological cancer services in North and East London, such that complex prostate and bladder surgery (but not all treatment) will be concentrated at UCLH hospital at Euston and complex kidney surgery at the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead and we examined the projected impact on local populations.
- Minutes of the meeting (PDF)
- The formal response of the committee (PDF) to London Cancer and NHS North and East London Commissioning Support Unit
The second meeting on 29 May 2013 examined the quality accounts for Barts Health NHS Trust. In the past each borough has taken its own approach to this but the committee agreed that, as the newly merged Barts Trust is now so large, a joint approach to scrutinising its quality accounts would be more productive. The Trust is the merger of the Barts, Newham and Whipps Cross Trusts and now comprises 6 acute hospitals.
- The formal submission (PDF) to Barts Health
At its meeting on 20 November 2013 it considered the financial turnaround situation at Barts Health NHS Trust and a case for change from the NHS on Improving specialist cancer and cardiovascular services in north and east London and west Essex. The JHOSC agreed to the case for change proposal.
Page updated: 22 Jan 2014