28th November, 2000
For immediate release
In today’s adjournment debate on the future of Community Health Councils, the Health Minister Gisela Stuart, described the ‘watchdog model’ as ‘outmoded’. Donna Covey, Director of the Association of Community Health Councils, commented:
‘It must be a matter for serious public concern that the minister is now justifying the abolition of Community Health Councils by describing a ‘Watchdog model’ as ‘outmoded’.
‘There is a clear consensus on this issue across the health community, from patient organisations to professional bodies. The NHS needs an effective, independent Watchdog. We welcome greater public involvement in the NHS, but it is no substitute for independent scrutiny.
‘Unfortunately there are many occasions within the NHS that patients need someone independent to speak up for them frankly and sometimes forcefully.
‘Getting rid of CHCs won’t get rid of the problems in the NHS, but it might just make them more difficult to detect.’
For further information please contact: Murray Benham on - 020 7609 8138
Notes to Editors