HC Deb 21 January 2004 vol 416 c1362W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum number of local government overview scrutiny committees is that a national service within the NHS could have to report to under the terms of the Health and Social Care Act 2001. [148811]

Ms Rosie Winterton

If a National Health Service body is proposing a variation in or development to its services it must consult all the overview and scrutiny committees of those local authorities for which the proposal represents a substantial one.

A NHS organisation which provides services to the whole country must first establish which of the 150 overview and scrutiny committees (those committees with the powers to scrutinise health services) believe the proposal is substantial for their populations. The NHS body involved need only consult those committees that specify that the proposal is substantial for their own populations. Those committees must form a joint committee to respond to that consultation; and that only joint committee may respond.