COUNCILLORS putting the Health Service under the microscope today vowed: We'll try to make things better for patients.
A cross-party team of six Kirklees councillors and two laypeople are carrying out an inquiry.
Its chairman, Clr Molly Walton, said the idea of local services to meet local needs would come first.
"We are not in conflict with the local agencies, quite the opposite," she said.
"We will be a `critical friend', not an opponent."
The council scrutiny panel will spend a year looking at NHS services.
And a promise has been made that its views will be listened to.
Clr Walton, a Labour councillor for Crosland Moor and Netherton, said the NHS and other health agencies had a legal duty to consult and listen to the views of council scrutiny groups.
She said: "Council-led health scrutiny is not a complaints service. Nor do we visit hospitals, or things like that.
"Our role is to be community leaders and advocates.
"We are the only democratically elected part of the process."
People interested in the panel's work are urged to go to the next meeting, which is in Huddersfield Town Hall at 10am next Monday.
Other panel members are Clrs Martyn Bolt, Marie Bower, Margaret Fearnley, Hanif Mayet and Elizabeth Smaje and Mrs Joyce France and Mr Paul Horbury.
Clr Walton said: "The health services - unlike many other areas of scrutiny - are ones on which there is a legal obligation to consult with us on changes at local level and to take account of and respond to any comments we have."
She added: "A principal role is to ensure that the needs of local people and local communities influence the development of health services in Kirklees and that the council and its partners are promoting healthy communities and reducing inequalities in health."