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Community Health Councils

Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many community health council staff he expects will transfer to patient forums; and who will pay their salaries between the closure of Community Health Councils and the establishment of the patient forums. [107750]

Community Health Councils (CHCs) will be abolished from 1 September 2003. There will be no transfer of CHC staff to patients' forums. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Clive Efford) on 19 March 2003, Official Report, column 850W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the total redundancy bill for closing down Community Health Councils. [107754]

It is too early to estimate the cost of redundancy as a result of the Community Health Councils (CHCs) abolition. To help avoid redundancies, a human resources framework for CHC staff has been agreed with trade unions and employing authorities. This framework provides for the establishment of clearing houses to pool local employment opportunities, training and other support to enable this group of staff actively to seek and obtain suitable alternative employment in the national health service.