Essential OSC (Overview and Scrutiny Committee) (in-house)

Overview and Scrutiny Committees (OSC) are a key component in the English health and social care network. They are guardians of the interest of communities with an important role in ensuring health bodies and Councils that commission health services act in the interests of local populations. The continually changing health environment requires OSCs to be fully appreciative of both legal requirements and best practice when a body is conceiving and consulting on programmes of health service change.

‘Essential OSC’ is designed to enable OSCs to scrutinise the processes public bodies undertake sufficiently to identify whether they have incorporated what they should have done, from establishing a case for change through to final decision making, in service change scenarios. Based around the ideal timeline, it examines what should happen through pre-consultation, option development and consultation, to enable a body to make a decision that is fair and legally sound.

‘Essential OSC’ highlights procedures that health commissioners and service providers should follow, the objectives they must have at each stage, the standards they should adhere to and the legal requirements they must meet. It includes legislation, statutory guidance, law (Gunning and Brown), legitimate expectation, Equalities and health inequalities requirements, impacts assessments, how they should engage with public, service users and stakeholders, how information should be shared, accumulated and used, how decisions should be made and how to decide whether consultation is required or not.

Who is it for

This is an ‘essential knowledge’ session designed specifically for OSC members.

Session Aims

By the end of the session participants will have:

  • A clear understanding of the processes health should go through when conceiving and making changes to services;
  • An understanding of the legalities that must be observed, including whether consultation is required or not;
  • The ability to evaluate what sort of involvement for service users, stakeholders and general public is beneficial;
  • The confidence to discuss and debate with representatives of health commissioners and health service providers what processes should be taking place on a case by case basis;
  • Learned from practical examples and actual cases (in the extended version).

Key learning Points

  • Practical appreciation of the ‘ideal timeline’ for service change.
  • Understanding of the definitions and application of processes within pre-consultation and consultation.
  • Evaluation of whether consultation is required or not.
  • The legal framework a health commissioners or service provider must work to.

Session alternatives

Essential OSC can be delivered in either:

  • A 2 hour briefing session, allowing some time for questions and answers.
  • A 4 hour session that goes in to more depth, provides a couple of case studies and allows you to use the Institute facilitator to explore scenarios that you experience or anticipate experiencing.