Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 12

Memorandum submitted by the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association

NHS (WALES) BILL 2002

  This is the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association's submission to the Welsh Affairs Committee's pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft NHS (Wales) Bill. This is a draft of the submission that will be sent to the Secretary of State for Wales following wider consultation with our membership in Wales.

  The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK's second largest union, on 1 January 2002.

  We note that the Committee will be considering all three areas of the draft Bill and we would also like to offer our comments on all three areas covered.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH COUNCILS IN WALES

  We welcome the Assembly's commitment in the NHS Plan to give patients and the public more say in the planning, developing and running of the NHS services in Wales.

  We welcome the establishment of an Association of Welsh Community Health Councils that will have responsibility for the performance of Community Health councils. Our members provide a universal service to all young families and are especially concerned with public health initiatives and advocating for disadvantaged groups within our society.

  We hope that this strategic body will ensure that all CHCs in Wales are much more representative of the communities they serve and put mechanisms in place to ensure that sections of communities in Wales that are presently excluded from consultation processes are given a voice in the running of the NHS in Wales.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WALES CENTRE FOR HEALTH

  The CPHVA welcomed very much the publishing 'Better Health Better Wales' and the subsequent Strategic Framework. We welcomed very much the emphasis on improving the public's health from a much broader perspective than the narrow 'public health medicine ' perspective.

  The association has long taken the view that all the work in any health visiting service is about public health; this applies to school nursing services, too. The public health work done on the ground by these nurses involves identifying the health needs of individuals and of whole populations covered by their services, although unlike public health doctors, health visitors and school nurses maintain contact with a client caseload.

  In this way practitioners identify factors that affect health. They use this information to work collaboratively with other agencies to encourage the development of policies that prevent disease and promote health.

  The Standing Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee in 1995 reviewed and defined the concepts that underpin public health echoing the CPHVA position that health visitors (and school nurses in the same way), considering their role in its entirety, are public health workers.

  The CPHVA considers that all nurses and midwives have an important contribution to make to public health, even when this is not the whole purpose of their role.

  The proposed Wales Centre for Health is intended to provide a national focus for strategic co-ordination of public health skills. In order to maximise the potential impact of the WHC on the health of the people of Wales and the reduction of health inequalities in Wales, the CPHVA feel that the contribution of public health nursing should be integral to all its activities.

  The Association believes that it is essential that public health nursing be represented on the Board of the WCH and that its staff should reflect the whole of the range of professionals practising in the field of public health.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS WALES;

  The CPHVA was represented on the Change Management Group that drafted the proposals for the establishment of Health Professions Wales. We would hope that the Assembly, through the HPW, will ensure that there is proper regard and emphasis given to the linguistic requirements of training and regulation in Wales and will fund the delivering of this function effectively.

Ann Owen

Professional Officer, Wales

June 2002



 
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