Health and wellbeing systems

Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) are the only forum where political and clinical leaders come together to shape the local the care and health system on a democratically accountable and statutory basis

In 2017/18 the context HWBs operate in is much more politically turbulent and financially pressured across both Local Government and the NHS.

Our latest research reveals that this context has galvanised many HWBs to focus on their place based leadership role and act as “place anchors” in a sea of sustainable transformation plans, devolution, accountable care systems/organisations and the Better Care Fund. 

There is also a renewed focus on the wider determinants of health, making the links with economy, employment, housing, and growth and wellbeing and the long term sustainability of the system around prevention.

Our support offer this year is more inclusive and welcomes all politicians with a role in leading the care and health system and we will continue to co-design support with NHS partners and to align our offers. Our approach is to:

  • support political leaders to navigate the complex footprints
  • support HWBs to redefine their role in a complex and rapidly changing system
  • empower leaders to be Place Anchors and effectively challenge the STP
  • equip leaders to make strategic decisions on investing in prevention.

Useful contacts

Caroline Tapster
Director, Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme

Caroline Bosdet
Senior Adviser, Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme

Paige Edwards
Programme Support Officer, Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme


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Read our June 2018 bulletin