ICBs and their partner trusts must share their joint capital resource use plans with health and wellbeing boards (HWB), under new rules.
Set out by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the move is intended to create an opportunity to ‘align local priorities’ and provide strategic consistency.
The new duty will see Boards share their plans and all revisions with any relevant HWB they fall under and was not expected of ICBs’ CCG predecessors.
The draft guidance sets out how HWBs – which have been in action in all 152 local authorities since 2013 – should define their new relationship with integrated care systems.
Each ICB that falls within an HWB’s footprint must have representation on the Board, with the new systems expected to build on ‘previous local knowledge, strategies and relationships developed by HWBs and CCGs’.
The DHSC also said it expects HWBs and integrated care partnerships (ICPs) to work together on a system-wide integrated care strategy, with all HWBs involved in an ICB’s preparation.
It also stressed that HWBs must continue the relationships they held with CCGs, with ICBs expected to involve HWBs in their:
- Forward plans (replacing commissioning plans)
- Annual reports
- Performance assessments.
HWBs are formal committees led by local authorities, charged with integrating the NHS and local governments.
The Health and Care Act 2022 made no change to their statutory duties, save for replacing their CCG representatives with ICBs. To this end, HWBs must review their membership to reflect the new systems in their areas, the DHSC said.
Different partners may have different geographical footprints and governance structures and should therefore work together and ensure there is clarity on their respective roles.