Community Health Councils
Community Health Councils (CHCs) are independent bodies, set up by law, who listen to what individuals and the community have to say about the health services with regard to quality, quantity, access to and appropriateness of the services provided for them. They then act as the public voice in letting managers of health services know what people want and how things can be improved. In turn, CHCs also consult the public directly on some issues to make sure that they are properly reflecting public views to the Local Health Board, Trust or Welsh Government.
In April 2004, CHCs were given additional powers to monitor all primary care services and to visit the premises of GPs, pharmacists and opticians, as well as private hospitals and care homes.
CHCs can also help, advise and support people who wish to gain access to their medical records or make complaints about NHS services and similar matters. This advice is completely free, independent and confidential.The Board of Community Health Councils in Wales is a statutory body and is responsible for ensuring that the local Community Health Councils are fulfilling their roles.
As a result of the recent reform of the CHCs undertaken by the Welsh Government, as of 1st April 2010 there are now the following eight CHCs in Wales:
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg CHC
Aneurin Bevan CHC
Betsi Cadwaladr CHC
Brecknock & Radnor CHC
Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan CHC
Cwm Taf CHC
Hywel Dda CHC