Changes to the structure of the NHS: Summary of the Organisations CCGs are working with – Part 2

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This is the second of two articles looking at changes in the NHS, the first concentrated on Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Part 2 now provides a summary of the organisations that the CCGs are working with.

NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups

Healthwatch

Healthwatch England is the national consumer champion in health and social care. The Healthwatch network is made of up of local Healthwatch representatives across each of the 152 Local Authority areas (funded by Local Authorities) and Healthwatch England.

Healthwatch has a common purpose – to ensure the voices of people who use services are listened to and responded to. The network has common values and comes together to work on priority areas and campaigns. It has significant statutory powers to ensure the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services. The health and social care reforms of 2012 set a powerful ambition of putting people at the centre of health and social care. To help realise that ambition, the reforms created a Healthwatch in every Local Authority area across England and Healthwatch England. The network is working together to share information, expertise and learning in order to improve health and social care services.

Health and Wellbeing Boards

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 established health and wellbeing boards as a forum where key leaders from the health and care system work together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population and reduce health inequalities. Health and wellbeing board members collaborate to understand their local community's needs, agree priorities and encourage commissioners to work in a more joined-up way. As a result, patients and the public should experience more joined-up services from the NHS and local councils in the future. The main aims of the Health and wellbeing boards are to:

  • Ensure stronger democratic legitimacy and involvement;
  • Strengthen working relationships between health and social care, and;
  • Encourage the development of more integrated commissioning of services.
The boards should help give communities a greater say in understanding and addressing their local health and social care needs.

Health and Wellbeing Boards claim that they will be able to achieve this because they:

  • Have strategic influence over commissioning decisions across health, public health and social care.
  • Will strengthen democratic legitimacy by involving democratically elected representatives and patient representatives in commissioning decisions alongside commissioners across health and social care. The boards will also provide a forum for challenge, discussion, and the involvement of local people.
  • Will bring together clinical commissioning groups and councils to develop a shared understanding of the health and wellbeing needs of the community. They will undertake the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and develop a joint strategy for how these needs can be best addressed. This will include recommendations for joint commissioning and integrating services across health and care.
  • They undertake the JSNA which will drive local commissioning of health care, social care and public health and create a more effective and responsive local health and care system. Other services that impact on health and wellbeing such as housing and education provision will also be addressed.

Who Sits on the Boards?

  • One local elected representative
  • A representative of local Healthwatch organisation
  • A representative of each local clinical commissioning group
  • The local authority director for adult social services
  • The local authority director for children’s services
  • The director of public health for the local authority
Local boards are free to expand their membership to include a wide range of perspectives and expertise, such as representatives from the charity or voluntary sectors.

Membership is not the only way to engage with the work of the boards, all boards regardless of their political or geographic make-up are expected to ensure that the needs of local people as a whole are taken into account.

How Can Local Communities Get Involved?

Boards are under a statutory duty to involve local people in the preparation of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and the development of joint health and wellbeing strategies.

Each health and wellbeing board has a local Healthwatch representative member as referred to earlier. Local Healthwatch will have a formal role of involving the public in major decision making around health and social care and its work is expected to feed into that of the health and wellbeing boards.

All health and wellbeing boards are accountable to local people through having local councillors as members of the board.representatives and patient representatives in commissioning decisions alongside commissioners across health and social care. The boards will also provide a forum for challenge, discussion, and the involvement of local people.
  • Will bring together clinical commissioning groups and councils to develop a shared understanding of the health and wellbeing needs of the community. They will undertake the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and develop a joint strategy for how these needs can be best addressed. This will include recommendations for joint commissioning and integrating services across health and care.
  • They undertake the JSNA which will drive local commissioning of health care, social care and public health and create a more effective and responsive local health and care system. Other services that impact on health and wellbeing such as housing and education provision will also be addressed.
  • Who Sits on the Boards?

    • One local elected representative
    • A representative of local Healthwatch organisation
    • A representative of each local clinical commissioning group
    • The local authority director for adult social services
    • The local authority director for children’s services
    • The director of public health for the local authority
    Local boards are free to expand their membership to include a wide range of perspectives and expertise, such as representatives from the charity or voluntary sectors.

    Membership is not the only way to engage with the work of the boards, all boards regardless of their political or geographic make-up are expected to ensure that the needs of local people as a whole are taken into account.

    How Can Local Communities Get Involved?

    Boards are under a statutory duty to involve local people in the preparation of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and the development of joint health and wellbeing strategies.

    Each health and wellbeing board has a local Healthwatch representative member as referred to earlier. Local Healthwatch will have a formal role of involving the public in major decision making around health and social care and its work is expected to feed into that of the health and wellbeing boards.

    All health and wellbeing boards are accountable to local people through having local councillors as members of the board.


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