Debate on the community health councils

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Newly appointed Health Minister Mark Drakeford underlined the need for "effective CHCs (community health councils)" in order to ensure "we have the sort of health service we want to have".

He was speaking during a debate on strengthening the role of CHCs, a few days after being appointed health minister in a surprise government reshuffle.

Mr Drakeford, who chaired the Health and Social Care Committee before his promotion, said that he was committed to ensuring that "CHCs serve the people of Wales to the best of their ability".

The councils represent the interests of patients, and one aspect of their work involves referring planned changes to NHS services to the government, if they believe that health boards' plans would compromise patient safety.

Many assembly members opened their contributions by welcoming the new health minister to his post, with Conservative spokesperson Darren Millar describing his appointment as "very welcome".

"It's important to have a strong CHC voice but I am little concerned that their vocal chords have been removed somewhat during the reorganisation procedure," said Mr Millar.

His comments referred to the outgoing actions of Mr Drakeford's predecessor Lesley Griffiths.

Before changing office, she wrote to Hywel Dda Community Health Council, which has called in aspects of local reorganisation plans, asking it to resume talks with the local health board.

Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams and Plaid Cymru member Llŷr Huws Gruffydd also spoke during the debate.

Both said that they wanted to see CHCs strengthened, and Mr Gruffydd also urged the government to ensure that CHCs "remain independent".

The motion as amended was agreed.

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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