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HWBs making 'good progress'

HWBs making 'good progress'

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Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) have made “substantial progress” towards addressing issues like integration and health inequalities, a report claims.

Released today by the Department of Health (DH), Local Government Association (LGA) and the NHS Confederation, the report states that HWBs “can and should” play a major role in mobilising for health and wellbeing, although changes could initially be unpopular.

According to Making a local difference, the HWBs that are working best have built good relationships between local authorities and CCGs.

Working together ensures that the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies are reflected in local commissioning, the report claims.

Yet HWBs should be “clear and focused” about where they can add value to existing work, to ensure they do not get caught up with the “minutiae”.

Dr Johnny Marshall, GP and NHS Confederation director of policy, said: "Like many, I have really welcomed the creation of health and wellbeing boards, which are uniquely placed to shape how local services can support sustainable communities.

“They are still very young organisations, barely three months into their statutory existence, but the evidence points to them already making good progress.”

Dr Marshall believes that setting out challenges, the report will support HWBs to develop the structure needed to improve health outcomes for the long run.

HWBs have been urged to engage with patients and local communities, as well as delegate tasks to be able to meet duties and goals.

The full report is available from the NHS Confederation website.

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