During my years as a CHC Chief Officer, I was repeatedly aggravated by letters from NHS managers in reply to individual complaints or to CHC comments on local plans that said, in essence, that what was being done was in accordance with policy and/or guidance.

During my years as a CHC Chief Officer, I was repeatedly aggravated by letters from NHS managers in reply to individual complaints or to CHC comments on local plans that said, in essence, that what was being done was in accordance with policy and/or guidance.

I see they are still at it.

Let's be clear. There are broadly two sorts of issue. One says, &Quot;I object to your policy&Quot;; the other says, &Quot;You are not carrying out your policy&Quot;.

If the objection is to a local policy, the person raising the objection is entitled to an explanation as to why the policy was adopted. If the objection raises a material issue that was not considered at the time the policy was adopted, that policy should be reviewed. If the issue was considered, the explanation will be on file and available for reply within 24 hours.

More importantly, if the objection is to the local implications of a national policy or guidance, the objector is entitled first to know whether local managers support that policy and, if not, how for they pressed their objections, and second to a reply from the relevant higher level in the NHS explaining the reasons for the policy to which exception has been taken.

Simply citing an authority is not acceptable. The argument is what is needed.


Martyn Smith.