Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Health Board elections?

I'm not against having direct-elections for Health Boards in Scotland - personally (I would say this, wouldn't I), I do believe the best solution would be to transfer all health functions that are truly local back to Local Authorities (who are, after all, directly elected!) and to have all national functions under a 'National (yes, elected) Board'.

That type of solution would certainly be more 'accountable' than some of the ideas mooted in yesterday's consultation paper, which it has to be said is a bit light on actual detail despite it's 23-pages.

It is though only a consultation paper (submissions requested by 1st April 2008) and I do hope that the SNP actually listen to some of the submissions they'll undoubtedly receive on this issue ...

... unlike the definite (and obvious) urgency that is needed over the Scottish Futures Trust, I think taking some time over this one could actually lead to longer-term benefits for all concerned - especially patients, who should remain the focus of this process.


Anonymous said...

OK, I give in - what are the health functions which are 'truly local'?

Andrew said...


Thanks for the query - not my area of absolute expertise, but here's the type of functions I was thinking of:

Community Health Partnerships(CHPs)
General Practictioners(GPs)
health visitors
school nursing
therapy services
mental health services
older peoples services
dental services
community learning disability teams
substance misuse and rehabilitation
and (some) voluntary sector health services

Most of this lot are already 'delivered' at a very local level and (I believe) would be better placed under Local Authority control.