Press release

Launch of consultation to encourage more joined up working in the health service

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Proposals for the duties of health and wellbeing boards were published today by the Department of Health. Health and wellbeing boards will …

Health and wellbeing boards will be made up of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local authorities, patient representatives, public health, and children’s and adult social care leaders in each local authority area to shape local health and care services, decide how they will be commissioned and support joined-up working across health and care services.

The draft guidance supports health and wellbeing boards with their Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs), which will set out the local needs and agree priorities to underpin local commissioning plans.

Starting from today, there will be an eight-week public consultation on the draft guidance. Specifically, this guidance:

• lays out duties, which underpin JSNAs and JHWSs to be undertaken by CCGs and local authorities through health and wellbeing boards from April 2013;

• explains how JSNAs and JHWSs will fit together with commissioning plans in the modernised health and care system; and

• sets out how the JSNA and JHWS process will enable the NHS and local government to make real improvements to the health and wellbeing of local people.

This guidance is especially important for CCGs, as under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, their commissioning plans must have regard to both JSNAs and JHWSs. How they factor them in to their commissioning plans will be a vital part of their authorisation process later this year.

Health Minister Anne Milton said:

“The Health and Social Care Act encourages much more integration between health and care services, so that patients and the public can receive seamless care.
 
“Health and wellbeing boards are vital to that integration - the local authority, clinical commissioning groups, local Healthwatch,  public health and social care leaders - getting together to agree what health and care services local people need and how they can best work together to make that happen.
 
“I would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation and have their say on our plans to ensure they get better health and care services locally.”
 
The consultation is also an opportunity to find out views on what further help health and wellbeing boards would find useful in undertaking their duties. The final guidance will be available later this year.

Notes to Editors:

1) For any media enquiries, please contact Alex MacDonald on 0207 210 5484.
2) ”Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies - draft guidance” will be placed in the Houses of Parliament Library as of today. The document is also available electronically on the Department of Health website.
3) For further information about health and wellbeing boards, please visit the DH website.