Examination of Witnesses

Part of Health and Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 9th September 2021.

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Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Labour, Bristol South 3:15 pm, 9th September 2021

Q That leads neatly on to my point. We have just heard a great defence of ICSs as the system of accountability, and you have said that system level is where decision making is happening. The chief executive told us very clearly on Tuesday that accountability for decision making was clearly located in the ICB. The ICP—the partnership—is formally a committee of the ICB. I think each of our witnesses—very experienced people—have actually confused those three acronyms. They have also confused the accountability, which NHS England has told us is very clearly in the ICB. The finance director, the accountable officer at the ICB, carries the can. The other person will ultimately be fired, should the accounts not balance and there be some sort of health and safety patient scandal. I think that is clear. First, do you think that is clear? Secondly, how can we encode the good direction of travel in the Bill around local accountability to somebody who could oversee it in a more independent way and better hold that accountability locally?