Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by Rodney Brooke (PAP 22)

  The Department of Health has sent me your questionnaire on public appointments. The only question to which I wish to reply is No. 4:

Question 4:   What are the main priorities for improving the system of public appointments—should it for instance be to extend the range of people involved in bodies, to improve the effectiveness of the bodies in providing advice or administering services, or to change the balance so that elected national, regional or local government has more of a role in public life?

  Answer:  The experience of the General Social Care Council has been that extending appointments to those who themselves receive public services or are carers of those who do, has extended the range and depth of the decision making of its members. The GSCC must, by statute, have a majority of lay members on its Council. This principle has been extended to ensure that there is not only a significant lay membership but also membership of direct beneficiaries and service users. In a body established to regulate a profession such as Social Care Workers this principle has been welcomed and embraced by the majority of its stakeholders. It is a principle that we would commend to all public bodies. The effectiveness of public bodies engaged in offering advice or administering services is enhanced by the involvement of lay people. However "lay" should mean more than not currently in the profession. It should embrace the notion of listening to the voice of service users and actively seeking out those whose voices and views would not normally be heard.

  The views are my own, but I am sure they would be shared by the other members of the General Social Care Council.

Rodney Brooke


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