RE: Future Forum reports today
The Government response to the Future Forum goes some way towards redeeming the obfuscatory and tautological, circular approach of "parallel scrutiny" introduced in the Patient Involvement and Public Accountability report (HealthWatch scrutinises scrutiny, scrutiny scrutinises HealthWatch, see Claire's post above). This report, whilst asserting that it wishes to bring clarity to the role of HealthWatch, does quite the opposite. For example, it continues to assert the flawed principle of a decision-making body holding itself to account, (recognised as such by previous consultations on the matter), i.e. that HealthWatch should exercise the role of scrutiny and challenge. Quote: "HealthWatch will be particularly well placed to provide this challenge given their role on health and wellbeing boards." Does this still need debate?
So, although not ideal, the government's response, rather than the Future Forum accountability report itself, is to be welcomed. It is essential that continued efforts are made to ensure that Health Scrutiny Powers remain with Health Overview and scrutiny Committees and not generally with the authority.