Community Health Councils
The Key Function of Community Health Councils (CHCs) is to represent the interests of the public in the health service in their district - ie to give people an independent voice in their local NHS and the service it provides.
Your local Community Health Council will
- Represent the views of the public within the NHS, ensuring that local health care needs are recognised, and will also raise public awareness of NHS issues.
- Monitor and evaluate from a patient’s viewpoint the effectiveness of NHS services provided by, for example, hospitals, GPs, dentists, pharmacies and care homes.
- Provide independent help and advice to individuals who have problems with, or complaints about, NHS services.
- Act as a voice for its community on the standards and appropriateness of local health services, having consulted local people and gathered public views.
- Ensure that local views and needs influence the policies and plans of LHB and Trusts — so comments are always welcome!
- Provide public opinion on consultation documents from the Welsh Assembly Government, NHS Wales and other organisations.
- Monitor the quality of local NHS services from the patients’ point of view. This will involve visiting hospitals and other health care premises where NHS care is provided.
- Work with other agencies to improve services and seek to bring about changes where necessary.
- Provide information and advice to the public on health matters.
Statutory Rights and Duties of CHCs
CHCs have a statutory right to:
- Receive information from the Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts.
- Be consulted on proposals for any change in health services in their district.
- Enter and inspect certain NHS premises in their district, including those of GPs, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and care homes providing NHS care.
- Attend meetings of Health Boards and NHS Trusts.
- To meet formally at least annually with Health Boards in their area.
CHCs have a statutory duty to:
- Meet in public at least once every three months.
- Publish an annual report on their performance.
CHCs are often invited to attend and contribute to a wide range of meetings organised by Trusts, Local Authorities, Voluntary and NHS organisations. CHCs also invite local representatives of these same organisations to attend and address their meetings on a regular basis. As well as informal meetings, CHCs have a formal annual meeting with every Health Board in its area.
CHC Advocacy Service - The CHC Advocacy Service is a small team of staff who provide a complaints and information service to the public.
CHCs are open to all sections of the community as their membership is made up of voluntary members appointed by the Welsh Assembly Government, Local Authority and Voluntary Sector.
If you are interested in becoming a CHC member and would like further information, please contact the Chief Officer of your local CHC whose telephone number can be found below.
Any individual or organization can refer, by email, in writing, by phone or in person.
For further information contact:
Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan Community Health Council
Mr Stephen Allen, Chief Officer, Cardiff Community Health Council
3rd Floor, Park House, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff CF10 3AF
The office hours:
- Monday to Thursday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
- Friday 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Tel: 029 2037 7407
The CHC Advocacy Service is based at the Cardiff office
The office works on an appointment system. Please phone first.
Tel: 029 20377407
Board of CHCs in Wales: 0845 644 7814
This is the National body for all CHCs in Wales, it:
- Ensures consistent core roles and standards for all CHCs and assists or advises CHCs on how to achieve them.
- Increases public awareness of issues and concerns affecting the NHS.
- Increases public awareness of the Board and CHCs collectively.
- Develops a common agenda with CHCs.
- Promotes collaborative working between CHCs. Keeps CHCs informed of national developments.
- Supports individual CHCs in relation to matters of national importance or concern where appropriate.
- Represents the collective views and interests of CHCs to the National Assembly for Wales, UK Parliament, the NHS and other bodies.