Chairman of #Calderdale #Healthwatch Board resigns over lack of accountability and transparency

Dr Chris Day has resigned as the Chair of Calderdale Healthwatch Programme Board. His resignation took place at the Board’s meeting on 13th January, after the Board voted in favour of a motion to exclude the public from the meeting.

Dr Day said,

“I opposed this motion and took a vote, but the motion was carried and I stood down as chair of the Board. I explained that I believed transparency and openness were being rejected in this motion and that I believed them to be such fundamental operating principles that I could not continue in this role. The public were removed from the meeting.”

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Chucking a steak to the HealthWatch dog?

How can an organisation funded by Calderdale Council – and, indirectly, central government – be expected to act as an independent, public watchdog for Calderdale Council public health policies, strategies and actions, and for the NHS purchasing decisions of the new Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group?

If you share these doubts, you might want to get in touch with Calderdale Save Our Services and/or your local Councillor.

Calderdale Council has awarded the £302k 2013-2015 contract for Local HealthWatch to Voluntary Action Calderdale, who bid for it in 2012.

The Coalition government’s Health and Safety Act 2012 requires Councils to fund a Local HealthWatch group. This is supposed to be “the consumer champion within the new NHS and social care arrangements, providing influence, signposting and advocacy for service users”, according to a Calderdale Cabinet Report of 10 December 2012. Continue reading