The scrutiny function, designed to enhance and provide a counterbalance to executive decision-making, is a key element in the modernisation of public service delivery in England. Early research expressed concerns about the effectiveness of scrutiny however, with lack of responsiveness by local decision-makers being suggested as one of the main difficulties. This paper applies a model of political influence strategies drawn from the business sector to analyse the strategies which health scrutiny committees in eight local authorities adopted in order to influence decision-makers. The relevance of the model to health scrutiny is assessed, and possible implications for enhancing health scrutiny in the future are discussed. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.