Department of Health publishes draft guidance on duties of health and wellbeing boards

As you know health and wellbeing boards (HWBBs) are to be made up of CCGs local authorities patient representatives public health and children's and adult social care leaders in each local authority area.

They will be tasked with shaping local health and care services deciding how these services will be commissioned and supporting joined-up working across health and care services. The draft guidance is intended to help the boards with Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs).

The Department said JSNAs and JHWSs would set out local needs and agree priorities to underpin local commissioning plans.

The guidance which will be subject to an eight-week consultation period will:

  • lay out the statutory duties which underpin JSNAs and JHWSs to be undertaken by CCGs and local authorities through HWBBs from April 2013;
  • explain how JSNAs and JHWSs will fit together with commissioning plans in the modernised health and care system; and
  • set 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.

CCGs must under the 2012 Act 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" - the Department of Health said.

Health Minister Anne Milton said: "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."

The final guidance is to be made available later this year.

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