The Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013 have now been published (see link below). The publication of these regulations provide a step forward in enabling local authorities to finalise local preparations for health and wellbeing boards and health scrutiny arrangements.
The regulations relating to health and wellbeing boards makes provision for the disapplication and modification of certain enactments relating to local authority committees appointed under section 102 of the Local Government Act 1972, insofar as they are applicable to a health and wellbeing board established under section 194 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The regulations aim to provide local areas with the flexibility and freedom to shape their health and wellbeing boards as best fits with local circumstances. In particular:
- health and wellbeing boards will be free to establish sub-committees and delegate functions to them;
- voting restrictions have been lifted so that non-elected members of a health and wellbeing board (i.e. CCG representative, local Healthwatch, Directors of Public Health, Children’s Services and Adult Social Services and any wider members) could vote alongside nominated elected representatives on the board.
- political proportionality requirements have also been lifted so that the question of political proportionality of health and wellbeing board membership is left to local determination.
The Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) are jointly publishing a practical guide to support local authorities in interpreting and implementing constitutional and governance aspects of the legislation. The guide can be downloaded at http://www.local.gov.uk/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ca8437aa-742c-4209-827c-996afa9583ca&groupId=10171
The regulations in relation to health scrutiny make provision for local authorities to review and scrutinise matters relating to the planning, provision and operation of the health service in their area. They replace the previous 2002 regulations on health scrutiny. Under the new system of health scrutiny, local authorities have greater flexibilities in how they discharge their health scrutiny functions. Certain elements of the previous regulations have been preserved but there are new obligations on both NHS bodies, relevant health service providers and local authorities around consultations on substantial developments or variations to services to aid transparency and local agreement on proposals.
Read the secondary legislation: