Our support to scrutineers where they work
Regional scrutiny networks in England
Most English regions have regional scrutiny networks - informal networks of members and officers who meet periodically to discuss issues of mutual interest and importance, and to help to share good practice.
These bodies are entirely independent of CfPS but CfPS supports them by attending meetings to provide updates on national issues, and engaging with them to carry out research. Some of this support is provided by CfPS's staff team, and other elements by our Regional Advocates.
CfPS's Regional Advocates
CfPS has four Regional Advocates who together cover all of England and Wales. They are intended to supplement our existing work with local authorities at sub-national level. Prior to April 2013 they were instrumental in assisting us with our Department of Health-funded programme; for 2013/14, although that funding has been withdrawn they have continued to stay active in their support of local authorities, through a new programme that takes account of our available resources, and lessons from previous work. .
The four regional advocates are:
North - Catherine Saltis
Midlands and East - Brenda Cook
South - Ann Reeder
London - Susan Biddle
Regional Advocates cover scrutiny of healthcare, social care and health improvement, alongside scrutiny of other public services. We are keen that support on health and care and other issues should intersect where appropriate because there are elements of all public services that impact on health and well-being.
There will be two health events in each area between now and March 2014, planned with local areas to share, showcase and build capacity locally. To fund better support for areas and to reduce travelling costs for practitioners, the healthy accountability forum will only run twice a year instead of four times.
Regional advocates can help networks to develop self-funded scrutiny support, training and development programmes through councils contributing a small amount, which is pooled to fund external assistance. This allows councillors and officers to access support and to share ideas and good practice in ways that councils might no longer feel able to fund alone. We are currently supporting councils in London and the North West in this way.