Health Insight March 2001:|
Patient representation: modifications to NHS plan for England
Pressure from Labour backbenchers has led to a rethink by the government on the arrangements for patient representation in the NHS that will be introduced to replace Community Health Councils in England.
The backbenchers opposed the abolition of CHCs, as detailed within the NHS plan for England, but the government is determined to go ahead with this move. However, the government is expected to support two compromise parliamentary amendments, which have been tabled by the chairman of the Commons select committee on health, David Hinchcliffe. The first amendment proposes the setting up of patients' councils, as umbrella bodies that group together the patient forums the government has described in the NHS plan. The second amendment ensures statutory provision for independent advocacy services to support patient complaints.
The issue of patient representation is the only area covered in the NHS plan where the government has faced opposition from its own backbenchers.
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