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Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020

Section 13 – General objective

38.This section provides that the Citizen Voice Body’s general objective, in carrying out its functions, is to represent the interests of the public in respect of health services and social services. “Health services” mean NHS services and “social services” mean the services provided by local authorities in exercise of their social services functions.

39.Subsection (2) requires the Citizen Voice Body, for the purpose of achieving its general objective, to seek the views of the public. It may do so in whatever way it considers appropriate. For example, the Body may hold events, conduct online surveys polls and online discussion groups, distribute feedback forms and maintain a social media presence. Section 15 enables the Body to make representations to an NHS Body (for the purposes of Part 4 of the Act “NHS body” means a local health board, an NHS trust and a special health authority) or local authority which will enable it to convey to those bodies the views it has sought from the public. In accordance with section 22, a special health authority means a special health authority established under section 22 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, but does not include a cross-border special health authority within the meaning of section 8A(5) of that Act.

40.Subsection (3) provides that when making arrangements for the purpose of complying with its duty under subsection (2) to seek the views of the public, the Citizen Voice Body must, in particular, have regard to the importance of ensuring, where appropriate, face to face engagement between its staff, or any other persons acting on its behalf (which could include contractors or persons offering assistance as volunteers), and persons from whom views are being sought.

41.The Citizen Voice Body will also have a role where local health boards or NHS trusts plan services or propose changes to them. Under section 183 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 and section 242 of the National Heath Service Act 2006 local health boards and NHS trusts have a duty make arrangements to consult the public or their representatives when they plan their services, develop proposals for changing how their services are provided or make decisions affecting the operation of their services. In the exercise of its function of representing the public’s interests, the Citizen Voice Body may be involved in consultations carried out by local health boards in the discharge of these duties. Local health boards, and NHS trusts may consult the Body directly but the Body may also instigate its own contribution to consultations. The local health board, or trust must take any representation made by the Body into account (see section 15). The Body may also make contributions to any consultation carried out by a local authority about its social services functions. The local authority must take any representation made by the Body into account (see section 15).

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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