We have looked at the role of place in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and how this links to the housing sector's aims.  This article looks at the role of place in regional Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs), following the publication of the Local Government Association’s report, “What a difference a place makes: The growing impact of health and wellbeing boards”.

HWBs have been in place since 2013 and are tasked with creating local partnerships, helping to guide the CCGs as to the area’s strategic priorities which will ensure that the health and wellbeing of local communities is improved.

Each upper tier local authority has to have a HWB and at present there are 153.  They are each comprised of a minimum of representatives from:

  • The local Healthwatch
  • The relevant CCGs
  • Local authority director of adult social services
  • Local authority director of children’s services
  • Local authority director of public services
  • One elected representative by either the local authority, mayor or leader of the council

The membership enables health, social care and local people’s priorities, rooted in place, to come together.  The report highlights that the forum might be a unique opportunity for senior leaders to collaborate in developing joint health and social care strategic aims. 

The opportunity to make better use of resources within a place is also noted.  By making place the cornerstone of HWBs, embedded issues such as destitution can be worked on holistically and at scale and with the ability to be agile in a changing context, for example around devolution.

The report highlights the concerns of HWBs around ensuring that they stay at place level rather than at system level. The report concludes that finding effective, cost efficient solutions at system level scale is desirable but this is directed by the maxim, system is the servant of place.