Health bosses 'ignore' scrutiny

PUBLISHED: 12:06 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

HEALTH managers have been accused of snubbing local councillors who have a role in scrutinising their activities. The criticism has come from independent St Albans councillor Tony Swendell (pictured) who believes that as a result, Herts County Council doe

HEALTH managers have been accused of snubbing local councillors who have a role in scrutinising their activities. The criticism has come from independent St Albans councillor Tony Swendell (pictured) who believes that as a result, Herts County Council does not fully understand the state local medical services are in or the pressure they are under. Cllr Swendell believes the scrutiny element needs to be widened to take a greater overview of local health services and allow a closer examination of the proposals in Investing In Your Health, the Strategic Health Authority's (SHA) blueprint for the future which includes rebuilding Watford Hospital and building a new hospital in Hatfield. He was reacting to claims by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt that health scrutiny by local authorities was working well. Cllr Swendell said that health managers could "thumb their noses at local councillors" and not attend scrutiny committees if they chose. And he added: "Even if they choose to attend they give meaningless presentations full of impressive jargon which means absolutely nothing." He queried the future of Hemel Hempstead Hospital with the proposed transfer of acute services to Watford and where that left the promised new hospital in Hatfield. He added: "There's not much information coming from the SHA on this.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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