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 appointmentsshould 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
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.