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Health Trusts

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what circumstances health trusts are required to offer reconfiguration plans for public consultation; who is responsible for deciding the circumstances; and to whom that person is accountable. (110155)

For all proposals concerning substantial changes to general service delivery, there is a duty to ‘involve and consult' patients and the public conferred on national health service organisations by section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001. It is the responsibility of the relevant health organisation to decide which proposals should be consulted on and the strategic health authority to oversee the formal consultation process.

The local authority's Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) considers the proposals as part of the formal consultation process and has the power to refer any proposal to the Secretary of State if it believes the proposal is not in the interests of the health service or the local community or if the consultation with the OSC has been inadequate. The Secretary of State can refer the matter to the independent reconfiguration panel for advice, require further consultation or endorse the decision of the local NHS organisations responsible for them.