Community Health Councils have always had a statutory right to visit hospitals and clinics, and now have authority to include primary care establishments where NHS services are delivered. This involves GP practices, dental surgeries, opticians, pharmacists and nursing homes.
- An area as large as Gwent has many different communities and diversities. Visits to the main hospital sites and mental health establishments are undertaken on an all-Gwent basis, whereas visits to GP practices and community hospitals are undertaken by members in their individual localities.
- In addition to the scheduled monitoring visits, a group of members can be called on at short notice to make an Early Response visit which may have resulted from concerns received about aspects of treatment, care or environment.
- Consistency, efficiency and sensitivity are important factors when carrying out monitoring visits and members must undertake training and receive any guidance required to assist them in this capacity.