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.
Inner North East London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (INEL JHOSC)
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 any wider pan London committee which is created for that purpose.
Three of our Members sit on the INEL JHOSC with councillors from the Corporation of London, Newham and Tower Hamlets. Our Chair, Cllr Akehurst has been Chair of INEL JHOSC in the past but this is now held by Cllr Winston Vaughan from Newham.
INEL JHOSC meetings in 2012/13
The Committee met 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.
The formal response of the committee (PDF) to London Cancer and NHS North and East London Commissioning Support Unit
INEL JHOSC meeting in 2013/14
It met on 29 May 2013 to examine the draft Quality Accounts for Barts Health NHS Trust. In the past each borough had 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.
Here is the formal submission (PDF) to Barts Health following the meeting.
At its meeting on 20 November 2013 the Committee met again to consider the 'financial turnaround' situation at Barts Health after the financial situation had deteriorated. At that meeting we also considered a Case for Change Proposal 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 subject to some ongoing monitoring requirements and here is the Draft minutes of the meeting (PDF)
At its meeting on 17 Feb 2014 the Committee met to consider a proposal to re-locate Moorfields Eye Hospital to a new site at Kings Cross, the CQC Chief Inspector of Hospital's report on Barts Health NHS Trust and an update on the latest stage of the proposals to reconfigure specialist cancer and cardiovascular services in north and east London. The NHS has taken on board input from both INEL JHOSC and North Central London JHOSC and is revising the proposals.
Following the local elections on 22 May and the appointment of a new Health in Hackney Scrutiny Commission at the AGM on 11 June, the new HiH Commission will appoint three new members to sit on the new INEL JHOSC.
It is expected that the newly constituted INEL JHOSC will next meet in July 2014.
Page updated: 3 Jun 2014