Local hospitals, Bradford Council’s chief executive and even the police are all clamouring for a place on a top health board, it has been revealed.
The district’s Health and Wellbeing Board met at City Hall yesterday to discuss who should get a seat at the table as it moves into its second year.
Those requesting a place were Bradford Council chief executive Tony Reeves, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, an NHS representative on behalf of the district’s hospitals and a police officer to represent the Bradford Community Safety Partnership.
Board member Councillor Simon Cooke said he did not agree police should get a seat, as health matters were not their “core function”. He quipped: “The Police Commissioner’s clearly not got enough to do.”
He said if they gave seats on the board to everyone who wanted one, they would have to hold their meetings in the Council chamber, and that in his view only those providing health services – such as hospitals – could justifiably be included.
Fellow board member Coun Ralph Berry agreed, saying: “I think there are real dangers of getting into a ‘me too’ situation.”
Board chairman, Council leader David Green, said his main priority was focusing on what the board would actually do next year.
He repeated his concerns that the board had become just a ‘rubber stamping’ body which was having its time taken up with government red tape.
Coun Green said before the board had been formed there had been about 20 groups calling for board membership.
He said: “The list of people wanting to be on the board has shrunk over the last two years, since they have seen us in operation.”
Outgoing strategic director of children’s services Kath Tunstall said the board would be better informed with health providers, as well as commissioners, around the table.
She said: “I think it enriches the debate.”
A final decision on membership requests is expected at the next meeting.