November 20, 2001

For immediate release

Community Health Councils welcome opposition to governments abolition plans

Peter Walsh, the Director of the Association of Community Health Councils for England & Wales (ACHCEW), today welcomed parliamentary opposition to the NHS Reform and Health Care Professions Bill, which has its second reading in the House today. The bill includes the abolition of Community Health Councils.

Peter commented:

"We would be surprised and disappointed if the government pressed ahead with the abolition of CHCs on the basis currently proposed, without ensuring that there is an effective local health watchdog to replace them.

"The alternative structures the government are proposing are fragmented, lacking in independence and likely to prove deeply confusing to patients and the public. We hope the government will listen to the concerns of the health community and think again about these proposals.

"Further constructive discussion and debate, building on their recent Response to the Listening Exercise, would pay dividends in the long run."


For further information please contact: Murray Benham on - 020 7609 8138



Notes to Editors