HC Deb 01 May 2003 vol 404 c508W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional funding he has provided to local authorities in Buckinghamshire to take on responsibilities held by community health councils. [110414]

Ms Blears

Funding to support local authority scrutiny of the national health service is currently being considered within the Department and an announcement will be made shortly. We are, therefore, unable to give specific funding details for Buckinghamshire.

The £23.5 million previously made available to fund Community Health Councils (CHCs) is contributing to the much wider programme of Government initiatives to support and strengthen patient and public involvement nationally.

The functions of CHCs are being picked up by a range of mechanisms, which include patient advice and liaison services, independent complaints advocacy services (ICAS), patient's forums, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) and the scrutiny of health services by local authority overview and scrutiny committees. Overall, the funding has increased greatly from the £23.5 million previously spent on CHCs. The funds being made available to the CPPIH to cover patient's forums and ICAS is £35.5 million alone.