With a legal duty to examine NHS and social services, the scrutiny committee tries to ensure that residents get the best care possible. The local NHS has a statutory duty to consult us on any substantial service variation it proposes.
If we’re really unhappy about their planned changes we can go beyond the local council and refer it to the health secretary for consideration.
For now, Lambeth is well served by its local authority and NHS partners, but we have one of the most deprived and diverse populations in the country with correspondingly high levels of ill health.
Although it sounds good that responsibility for public health is returning to councils, our budget has been cut by a third, and central government is allowing junk food, alcohol and cigarette manufacturers too much influence, undermining any local efforts to improve health.
Similarly the NHS reforms are putting the interests of private businesses before a comprehensive public health system meaning our most vulnerable residents will suffer as a result.