Local authorities’ scrutiny committees must consider financial issues if they want to reject health service changes

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8543
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Local authority scrutiny committees that oppose changes in NHS services will not be obliged to provide their own financially sustainable alternatives, the Department of Health has conceded.

The idea was part of a consultation into how scrutiny of health services should be carried out in the newly reformed NHS in England. But it was strongly opposed by respondents to the consultation, who argued that it would require a depth of clinical and financial knowledge that most members of scrutiny committees would not have. “The government accepts this argument and will not pursue this proposal,” the health department said in its response to the consultation.1

However, this concession will not allow the scrutiny …

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