Vacancy -- Members of the Community Health Councils (CHCs)
CHC members are volunteers. Once appointed members can claim for travel and other reasonable expenses in accordance with the CHC’s policies.
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.
What do Community Health Council members do?
Some of the activities of the CHC, for example supporting individuals to raise a concern are carried out by the staff of the CHC. The role of CHC members is to provide a viewpoint from the public’s perspective. Members may be involved in the following activities:
- Visiting, and scrutinising local health services, including:
- visits to GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals, listening to the views and experiences of patients, carers and staff
- participating in committees and working groups set up to monitor and review NHS performance, and
- read and comment upon a wide range of NHS documents
- Continuously engaging with the communities they represent and the health service providers serving those communities
- Representing the interests of patients and the public in the planning and agreement of NHS service changes.
What do members do?
- Talk to patients and the public and encourage them to share their views and experiences of NHS services
- Report the views and experiences of patients and the public in a clear and balanced way
- Represent the views of patients and the public in meetings with those who plan and deliver NHS services
- Look at local plans and proposals for service changes
Welsh language skills
To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.
Members do not need to be experts in the work of the NHS. We are looking for individuals from all walks of life who have a genuine interest in helping their local community to improve the services provided by the NHS.
Candidates must demonstrate a clear understanding and commitment to:
- equality issues and challenging discriminatory practices; and
- Nolan’s ‘Seven Principles of Public Life’ - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life
CHC members will 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 -http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/documents/899/2019%20Code%20of%20Conduct%20Procedure%20.pdf
Members will need to demonstrate:
- A genuine interest in listening to others with very strong social skills
- an ability to represent others in a balanced way
- an ability to relate to people of different backgrounds
- an ability to work effectively as part of a team
The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable but not essential for the posts. 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, we are seeking to appoint members to all CHC areas in Wales, apart from Cardiff and Vale CHC where there are no current vacancies. However, there may be opportunities to become a co-opted (non-voting) member of Cardiff and Vale CHC. Persons interested in becoming a co-opted member should contact Cardiff and Vale CHC directly on 02920 750112.
Please note, some people are not eligible to apply to be part of a CHC. 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 serviice.
- Chairs, members, directors or employees of a health service body that makes decisions that affect persons resident in the same district as the CHC.
- Members of another Council.
- General Medical Practitioners, General Dental Practitioners, Registered Pharmacists, Registered Optometrists or Registered Dispensing Opticians, Registered Nurses or Midwives who work in the same district as the CHC.
- 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.
The maximum period of service on a Community Health Council is 8 years.
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. 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.