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What does the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee do?

The Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) looks at the work of the primary care trusts and National Health Service (NHS) trusts and the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority. It acts as a ‘critical friend' by suggesting ways that health related services might be improved. It also looks at the way the health service interacts with the County Council's social care services, the voluntary sector, independent providers and other council services to jointly provide better health services to meet the diverse needs of East Sussex residents and improve their well-being.

The NHS is required to consult HOSC on any plans which would result in major changes to services. HOSC can scrutinise (carry out an independent check on) any local health services provided and commissioned through the NHS as well as those provided by local authorities.

HOSC was set up in 2003 as a result of the central government initiative aiming to strengthen the involvement of public and patients in improving local health services.

What will it not do?

Health scrutiny is not a complaints service - it cannot monitor or investigate individual cases - it is there to look at broad issues.