Research and shared learning

Our unique study of the progress made by health and wellbeing boards since their inception has shaped our support offer going forward.

Recent publications

What a difference a place makes: the growing impact of health and wellbeing boards
July 2019

This resource captures the achievements, challenges and learning from 22 effective health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) across the country, all of which are making good progress on integrating health and care, improving wellbeing and tackling the wider determinants of health.

Case Studies: Developing joint health and wellbeing board arrangements
March 2019

The LGA has compiled case studies of three areas which have set up joint HWB arrangements. Based on these, the summary report provides ideas and learning that may help other areas seeking to develop joint approaches. This is the first stage of work on joint HWB arrangements, and further case studies will be added. The LGA is also undertaking a report on the work of health and wellbeing boards in the new NHS landscape, due in May 2019.

Shifting the centre of gravity: making place-based, person-centred health and care a reality
November 2018

Since our first joint vision, ‘Stepping up to the place’ in 2016, much has changed, and we have experienced challenges and successes. The examples in this report show what can be achieved by system leaders and staff from local government, the NHS, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and service user and carer groups working together to improve health and deliver person-centred care.

2018 Integration evidence review
October 2018

An independent review of our shared vision, plus case studies and a survey of council leaders and portfolio holders

The “State of the Nation” annual reflections on the current progress of HWBs, the drivers and barriers for an effective HWB and emerging themes from our learning across the country are set out below.

The power of place: health and wellbeing boards in 2017
April 2017

The most important trend we have identified from this year’s research is the decision by a significant number of boards to reassert a focus on the wider determinants of health and exercise a place leadership role. They are acting as the anchors of place in a sea of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), integration and new models of care.

The force begins to awaken: a third review on the state of health and wellbeing boards
March 2016

In this report we explore the current position of health and wellbeing boards in more detail, seeking to understand the features of the more effective boards and to identify the factors that are influencing whether or not a board makes significant progress.

Stick with it: a review of the second year of the health and wellbeing improvement programme
February 2015

Shared Intelligence was commissioned by the LGA to carry out a review of the Health and Wellbeing Improvement Programme (the Programme) in its second year.

Great expectations: a review of the health and wellbeing system improvement programme
April 2014

This report sets out the conclusions of Shared Intelligence's review of the impact of the Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme, its recommendations for future support and conclusions on the state of the health and wellbeing system, particularly health and wellbeing boards.

Change gear: learning from the pilot health and wellbeing challenges
October 2013

Shared Intelligence was commissioned by the LGA to carry out a rapid review of the pilot health and wellbeing peer challenge programme. The primary purpose of the review was to provide the association and its partners with some insight into how health and wellbeing boards were developing and the learning themes that emerged from the peer challenges.


Here you will find out key publications creating an evidence base on effective HWBs and systems and supporting specific challenges faced by HWBs.

Effective health and wellbeing boards: findings from 10 case studies
November 2016

Building on our research in The Force Begins to Awaken, these 10 pen portraits of effective health and wellbeing boards highlight how the drivers and barriers of effective health and wellbeing boards are being used and overcome challenges and drive improvement.

The journey to integration: Learning from the seven leading localities
May 2016

This independent report details the experience of seven localities in developing integrated care.

HWBs engaging effectively with providers
February 2016

This briefing, co-produced by the LGA, NHS Providers and NHS Improvement, highlights the importance of effective engagement between health and wellbeing boards and local NHS providers and offers some short case studies exploring the different approaches that can be taken.

Health and care quality systems in practice: a guide for local leaders
September 2015

This guidance has been produced in collaboration with the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CFPS) and Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) to support health and care leaders in navigating the local agencies and organisations responsible for regulating and improving the quality of health and care services.

Connecting health and wellbeing: a social media guide
November 2014

This guide was undertaken in response to requests from people working with health and wellbeing boards where there was a real desire for social media to be used effectively to help the boards shape policy, explain decisions and deliver objectives.

Making an impact through good governance: a practical guide for health and wellbeing boards
October 2014

The guide is intended to be of practical use to members of HWBs in all of the membership categories: councils, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local Healthwatch and voluntary sector members, representatives of NHS England who sit on HWBs, and additional non-statutory members.

In good shape: learning and good practice from the early health and wellbeing peer challenges
March 2014

This publication contains a number of case studies outlining how peer challenge is playing a strong role supporting and improving public health and also points to some of the good practice identified in the first phase of the health peer challenge programme.

Working with partners

Wherever possible, we work collectively with health and social care colleagues to set out a joint vision and approach to integration and leading the health and care system.

Stepping up to the place: integration self-assessment tools
November 2016

This self-assessment tool is designed to support local health and care leaders through health and wellbeing boards.

Making it better together: a call to action on the future of health and wellbeing boards
June 2015

The LGA and NHS Clinical Commissioners have launched their ambitious call to action and a set of proposals to local system leaders and the Government to strengthen the impact and leadership of health and wellbeing boards across the country.

Key documents

These publications were produced at the inception of HWBs and are useful reference points.

Get in on the Act: Health and Social Care Act 2012
June 2012

Get in on the Act is an invaluable guide to the legislation, which provides a summary of all the provisions of the Act and more details about the provisions of particular relevance to local government. It is essential reading for elected members and officers who have an interest in the health reforms.

HWBs explained
June 2016

This King's Fund report focuses on the role that health and wellbeing boards could play in emerging policy developments such as integrated commissioning and place-based systems of care.