Health Scrutiny- A Short Guide

Posted on 27/03/2023 by Megan Ingle.

What is this guide about?

This is a comprehensive introductory guide that aims to provide an overview of the main facets of Health and Adult Services Scrutiny, giving a summary of some of the key tools and skills needed to improve and enhance health scrutiny in your authority.
As well as providing a general introduction to the key themes and issues, the guide looks at two specific substantive areas of policy where scrutineers might want to take work – support to older people, and health inequalities.

Because the rules around aspects of health scrutiny – in particular, the statutory power of referral to the Secretary of State – are changing, we expect to issue an update of this paper later in 2023.

We have produced a counterpart to this paper which explores scrutiny of children’s services which can be found here.

Who is it for?

Anyone working in or with Health-related Public Services is likely to come into contact with Health Scrutiny, but specifically the primary audience for this document is:

▪ Members of Health Scrutiny committees/commissions/panels, including Chairs and Vice-Chairs.
▪ Scrutiny officers
▪ Those in Senior Management, i.e Public Health Directors, Directors of Adult Services etc.
▪ Council leaders and other Cabinet members. This is because political leadership is crucial to effective Health Scrutiny. Commitments to supporting the Health Scrutiny function (this applies to the scrutiny function more generally) and recognizing the political dynamic within which it operates must come from the top.
▪ Those new to Health Scrutiny, whether this is officers or members

Link below for the full publication