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Greater HWB commissioning role needed, report claims

Greater HWB commissioning role needed, report claims


Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) should take a larger role in commissioning, an independent report has claimed. 

The Independent Commission on Whole-Person Care released a report which suggests how incentives can be aligned across health and social care. 

According to the report, primary care commissioning should lined up with community commissioning for whole-person care to succeed. 

The report, commissioned by the Labour Party, claims that HWBs are currently "concerned" about their lack of "influence in NHS England's commissioning decisions". 

One Person, One Team, One System, reported that current fragmented systems will make it hard to deliver co-ordinated care. 

The report reads: “People want coordinated services which work together around them, but are often left frustrated by the fragmentation of health and care services and the problems that this causes for them and their families.

"Despite decades of notionally ‘patient focused’ and ‘primary care led’ policy, acute hospitals are still the magnet towards which people are drawn. This is bad for people, bad for quality of care, and ultimately unaffordable." 

In the foreword, Sir John Oldham wrote: "The Commission believes…a new radical approach is needed for the next parliament to put the health and care system back on track.

"For too long health and social care have been considered separately. They are inextricably linked. However we do not believe the answer includes yet another major structural reform at this time. The scale of recent reforms so damaged the NHS and care system that we believe it would not survive intact from a further dose of structural change. 

"We are not saying that the current structures are right, or that they won’t need to change in the future – they aren’t and they will… However, relationships and culture trump structures. We should not focus now on what the structures are, but the relationships among them, the people who work in them, and what they do. This is the essence of care and what really matters. " 

The full report is available to view online


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