Health and Wellbeing – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 28th June 2007.
To ask the Scottish Executive what role it envisages for the Scottish health council. (S3O-425)
The Scottish health council was set up in 2005 to improve the way in which people are involved in decisions about health services. As well as being a champion for patient and public involvement in NHS Scotland, the council scrutinises local national health service boards to ensure that they work with and listen to people in their community.
Will the cabinet secretary clarify whether she envisages the council's role continuing? Can she assure me today that the views of not only local communities but clinicians will be taken on board, to ensure that any decisions that are taken produce the best outcomes for patients?
I give Marilyn Livingstone a clear assurance that the valuable role of the Scottish health council will continue. To date, the council has produced seven reports on major service change proposals. As the member will be aware, it was a manifesto commitment of the new Government to introduce a new process of independent scrutiny that will take place prior to public consultation. The new arrangements will enhance the decision-making process and allow the views of not just the public but clinicians to be taken fully into account.