Embargoed until: 00.01 Tuesday 21st November

Report slams new patient empowerment proposals


‘Watchdog or Lapdog?’, a new report launched today by the Association of Community Health Councils (ACHCEW), identifies a range of serious flaws in the government’s new proposals on patient empowerment, which involve abolishing Community Health Councils (CHCs) and establishing instead a range of new bodies. According to the report:

Donna Covey, Director of ACHCEW commented:

‘This report is extremely timely. The National Plan proposals are at a crucial stage. People need to be made aware that they are in danger of losing an effective, independent Watchdog, the Community Health Council, and receiving in its place a cumbersome system that lacks independence.

‘Patient confidence in the NHS has been severely damaged over the past year by a series of medical scandals, including the Ledward case, the Shipman case and events at Alder Hey hospital. These measures will do nothing to restore patient confidence.

‘There is a widespread consensus in the health community that patients need an effective independent Watchdog. Far from delivering that, the National Plan proposals are likely to make the NHS less accountable than ever.’

Copies of the report are available free from the Association of Community Health Councils. Please send an A4 stamped addressed envelope to:

Watchdog or Lapdog

Association of Community Health Councils

Earlsmead House

30 Drayton Park

London, N5 1PB

The text of the report can also be downloaded from: www.achcew.org.uk


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

email: murray.benham@achcew.org.uk

website: www.achcew.org.uk

Notes to Editors