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Health and Wellbeing Boards

Health and wellbeing boards

The government intends to avoid fragmentation of services by setting up new Health and Wellbeing Boards. Each local authority will have its own board with the responsibility to ensure that NHS services, health improvement (such as HIV care) and social care services are properly coordinated and integrated.

They will also be required to develop a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) which are currently the responsibility of PCTs.

The JSNA’s central role is to act gather the evidence required for health and well-being boards to make decisions on key local health priorities. Clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, including public health teams, will look jointly at local population health needs. The process can involve looking at local data; consulting health and community organisations that operate in the area, patient and service user views and comparisons between and within different areas.

The JSNA should allow you, as people living with HIV, as well as other people and organisations with a particular interest, to have a say about the strategy for services at a local level at consultations or open public forums.

The Department of Health has published a Public Health Outcomes Framework which provides a list of 68 indicators that the Government thinks provides the best measurement of population health and wellbeing. There are three specific indicators on HIV and sexual health:

  • people presenting with HIV at a late stage of infection
  • chlamydia diagnoses (15 to 24-year-olds)
  • under-18 conceptions.

It is expected that each HWB will construct their JSNA around the 68 indicators in the Public Health Outcomes Framework. They have discretion to add or remove anything that they want, so it is hugely important to ensure that the three indicators on sexual health and HIV are included in every JSNA.

The JHWS covers health care and treatment, social care and public health and will set out the overall plans for a local area and how it is intended that needs are met. This local strategy and its connection to commissioning plans will form the basic link for the Health and Wellbeing Board to promote joint commissioning and integrated provision between health care, public health and social care.

HWBs are legally required to include the following people in their membership:

  • one local elected representative
  • a representative of local Healthwatch organisation
  • a representative of each local clinical commissioning group
  • the local authority director for adult social services
  • the local authority director for children’s services
  • the director of public health for the local authority.

They also have discretion to expand their membership to include others such as a voluntary sector representative, or someone from the emergency services.

Though they will not have a veto, Health and Wellbeing Boards will have a clear right to refer plans back to the clinical commissioning groups or to the NHS Commissioning Board for further consideration if they do not think they are in line with the joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Some local authorities are early implementers and have already set up 'shadow' Health and Wellbeing Boards in order to have the organisation and integration in place in advance of the switch over of responsibility in April 2013.

Link to 'shadow' Health and Wellbeing Boards

Further information on Health and Wellbeing Boards

The King's Fund resources on Health and Wellbeing boards

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The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 7/12/2012 by T. Kelaart

Date due for the next review: 30/9/2014

Content Author: B. Smith

Current Owner: B. Smith

More information:

Early implementers of health and wellbeing boards announced, Department of Health, March 2011 

Health and wellbeing boards, Department of Health, October 2011