Vacancy -- Independent Members of Board of Community Health Councils (CHCs)
Function of body
Community Health Councils (CHCs) are responsible for representing independently and without bias the interests of patients and the public in order to influence and improve the way National Health Services are planned and provided in Wales. CHC members are local volunteers who act as the eyes and ears of patients and the public, listening to people’s views about the health service, assisting people who wish to raise a concern about the health service and working with the health service to improve the quality of patient care.
Community Health Councils – organisational structure
There are seven CHCs in Wales, each one covering a distinct geographical area of Wales. These geographical areas are aligned with the seven Local Health Boards which are responsible for designing and delivering NHS services in that area (see annexes D & E). Each CHC is supported by a small team of paid staff, as well as local authority, third sector and volunteer members. The seven CHCs are overseen by the Board of Community Health Councils.
While CHCs represent the voice of patients in their local area, the Board of CHCs represents the voice of patients and the public at a national level. The Board of CHCs sets out the national standards CHCs must meet, provides advice, guidance and support and is also responsible for monitoring and managing their performance.
CHCs in Wales:
- continuously listen to what individuals and the community have to say about their NHS,
- act as the public voice by letting NHS leaders and managers know what people want and how things can be improved,
- foster good relations with local NHS services,
- consult the public directly on certain issues; and relay the public’s views to the NHS and the Welsh Government, and
- assist, advise and support people who wish to raise a concern about NHS services.
The role of independent members as described in a factsheet from the Institute of Directors, is to provide “a creative contribution to the Board by providing objective criticism”. They should bring “independent judgement to bear on issues of strategy, performance and resources including … standards of conduct.” They will focus on Board matters and not stray into matters of day to day running.
The Board of Community Health Councils in Wales is responsible for:
- Advising and assisting individual CHCs on their performance;
- Representing the collective views and interest of CHCs to the Welsh Ministers;
- Setting standards for CHCs, as deemed appropriate by the Board, in matters such as complaints advocacy, scrutiny of the operation of the health service and the process of engagement;
- Monitoring the performance of CHCs to ensure consistent standards across all
- Operating a complaints procedure, and;
- Ensuring a cohesive and national approach to CHC delivery across Wales by enabling CHCs to work in a planned and co-ordinated way.
In his legislative statement on 17 July 2018, the First Minister for Wales announced that legislation is to be brought forward to replace CHCs and the Board of CHCs with a new, independent Citizen Voice Body that will represent the interests of the citizen across both health and social services. The new body will build on the work already done by the CHCs and strengthen the voice of the citizen in Wales.
The transition from the current CHC model to the new Citizen Voice Body will be an exciting yet challenging time for the Board of CHCs and the wider CHC movement. One of the main roles of the independent board members will be to help support the Board of CHCs and the wider CHC movement through the period of transition to the establishment of the new Citizen Voice Body.
An Act of the Assembly is required in order to effect this change. An Act is to be introduced in this Assembly Year in order to start the required process.
The independent member will:
- be required to play a full and active role in the governance of the Board and is expected to bring an independent judgement on issues of performance, forward planning and accountability;
- contribute to the work of the Board based upon their independence, their past experience and knowledge, and their ability to stand back from the day to day operational management;
- contribute and accept corporate decisions to ensure a joined up, robust and transparent decision making process by the Board;
- be expected, in time, to understand the work of the CHCs to enable the effective performance of the Board;
- work closely with other public and voluntary organisations and make sure that the views of patients, carers and families are fully involved in helping to shape, develop and improve services.
- be available to prepare for and attend meetings.
- be expected to abide by a Code of Conduct for CHC members. The Code covers issues such as the values of CHCs, personal conduct, confidentiality and equal opportunities. It applies to the Independent Members of the Board of CHCs. A link is below:
Welsh language skills
The independent member will demonstrate the following qualities:
Knowledge / Experience (essential)
- provide objective criticism to the Board whilst maintaining independent judgement on issues of performance, forward planning and accountability;
- assimilate, assess and analyse complex information and contribute to sound decision making;
- work with the CHC Chief Executive, Chair and other board members to ensure the Board leads the CHCs effectively. Where necessary you will demonstrate skills that will enable you to hold the Chief Executives to account for performance whilst maintaining a constructive relationship; and
- contribute to the ‘Governance’ of the Board, ensuring it is open and honest in its work by contributing fully in the decision making process.
Personal Attributes and Skills
- Leadership and self-awareness, ability to gain respect and attention;
- integrity, high ethical standards, sound judgement and a willingness to challenge;
- an ability to demonstrate a citizen focus approach, to champion the Board, through working closely with other public and voluntary organisations;
- an ability to make sure the views of the patients, carers and families are fully involved in helping to shape, develop and improve services;
- good interpersonal, listening and communication skills and the ability to engage with members and employees within the Board;
- skills and ability to work as part of a team and in partnership with other key organisations;
- an understanding of how conflict occurs and how to deal with it effectively and sensitively;
- an ability to identify potential problems and deal with risk; and
- a willingness to embrace change and innovation and a keenness to gain new knowledge and skills.
Candidates must also demonstrate a clear understanding and commitment to:
- equality issues and challenging discriminatory practices; and
- Nolan’s ‘Seven Principles of Public Life’ - see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life.
The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable but not essential for the post. However, all candidates will be expected to display an understanding of the bilingual nature of Wales, and the principles contained in the Welsh Government’s Strategy for the language in Health and Social Services, More Than Just Words. This includes specifically:
- the importance of providing excellent bilingual services in the health sector;
- not treating the Welsh language less favourably than English; and
- promoting opportunities to use the Welsh language by means of the active offer principle.
Please note, some people are not eligible to apply to be on the Board of CHCs in Wales. These include:
- People who have been convicted of an offence in the past 5 years and served a prison sentence (suspended or not) of 3 months or more.
- Un-discharged bankrupts.
- People who have been dismissed from paid employment with the health service (apart from being made redundant) or have been terminated from a public appointment within the health service.
- Chairs, members, directors or employees of a health service body.
- People who are candidates for, or are serving Members of, the National Assembly for Wales, the UK House of Commons and/or the European Parliament.
- Persons providing services as General Medical Practitioners, General Dental Practitioners, Registered Pharmacists, Registered Optometrists or Registered Dispensing Opticians, Registered Nurses or Midwives.
- Current CHC members would not be able to remain a CHC member if they are appointed as independent member of the Board of CHCs.
For further information regarding the selection process, please contact:
Public Appointments Team
For further information regarding the role of the independent member please contact the Welsh Government’s Head of Patient Experience, telephone: 03000 253967 or email: Rhian.email@example.com. mailto:If you need any further assistance
in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team (as above).
For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit www.gov.wales/publicappointments
How to apply
To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system. You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form. To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates. This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4. Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit. The second document is a full, up to date CV. The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.
In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities. We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years.
It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence. You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go. You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.
If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.
If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on PublicAppointments@gov.wales.