Health and wellbeing systems

Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are a statutory forum where political, clinical, professional and community leaders from across the care and health system come together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population and reduce health inequalities. They have been in place since 2013 and are a single point of continuity in a constantly shifting health and care landscape.

HWBs are in their fifth year and the environment in which they operate has become more pressured and complex. HWBs are uniquely placed through their statutory basis, democratic accountability, roots into and knowledge of the local community and its needs, ability to link to the wider determinants of health, and set a long term vision for the place.

We have developed the political and clinical leadership offer throughout this time and have a very clear idea of the conditions that make for an effective HWB. We have expanded working in partnership with the NHS representative bodies as we recognise that there are cultural and relationship issues with the NHS and councils and lack of understanding within the NHS about local authority governance and member-led decision making and vice versa. Good relationships and mutual understanding are a bedrock of an effective HWB and a health and care system.

Our support offer aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • HWBs are as effective as they can be and have reshaped how they fit into the new landscape
  • councils and NHS bodies in an area understand each other’s culture and governance arrangements, having invested time in building relationships
  • HWBs can work across different planning, commissioning and delivery footprints
  • HWBs understand the needs of the population and the resources in the area
  • HWBs have a shared vision and commitment
  • HWBs can demonstrate their impact.

Bespoke support

We are able to provide completely tailored support if your area has a specific issue around health and wellbeing, or public health, prevention and early intervention that is not suited to the previous activities on offer.

We would work with the senior leadership team in an area to scope what type of support is needed.

A few examples of previous support initiatives included:

  • workshops with senior teams and elected members
  • coaching and mentoring
  • support and challenge for improving outcomes and performance.

We use experienced peers and expert associates to design and deliver our support.

Useful contacts

Caroline Tapster
Director, Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme

Caroline Bosdet
Senior Adviser, Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme

Katherine Mitchell


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