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?
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