Headlines: July 29th, 2004

Nine councils with innovative action learning projects in the field of health scrutiny will receive 20,000 pounds to further their work. The awards are being made by the Centre for Public Scrutiny as part of their three-year Health Scrutiny Support Programme, designed to increase capacity as non-executive
council members get to grips with their new powers to scrutinise health services.

One authority from each English region has been selected to scrutinise a topic that impacts on the health and well-being of their local community, whilst also testing and evaluating new health scrutiny processes and sharing lessons learned with councils across the country. The topics selected include obesity, teenage health, breastfeeding, patient pathways for older people, young peoples’ health
and palliative care. The projects will commence by December 2004 and run for around 12 months. A second round of awards will be made in Summer 2005 and a final round in Summer 2006.

The Centre’s Health Scrutiny Programme Manager, Tim Gilling, said: “The action learning funding is one of many support mechanisms we will offer over the next three years. Our aim is that through our broader programme, local authority health overview and scrutiny committees can be supported at a level that is
appropriate to their local needs. In the next few months we will be rolling out a programme of dedicated advisory support and developing a health scrutiny
helpdesk facility. We are particularly keen to support the Chairs of health
overview and scrutiny committees and will be launching a network for them that recognises their role as leaders of the process