Plymouth Health and Wellbeing Board

Plymouth Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) takes a system leadership role, setting the ambition, shaping local priorities and signing off key strategic documents, including commissioning strategies. This case study forms part of our integrated care systems (ICS) resource.

In 2013, Plymouth HWB agreed a strategic vision for a fully integrated system of population-based health and wellbeing to improve health outcomes for people of all ages, and since then it has been driving this ambition.

Integrated commissioning is now firmly established, with an integrated fund and risk- and benefit-sharing arrangements. Joint commissioners are co-located and work as a single team under a director of integrated commissioning. Most adult social care services have been transferred to Livewell South West, an integrated community health and care provider with a single point of access, locality-based services and improved secondary care discharge pathways. The integrated service has helped the adult social care budget achieve balance for four years in a row, while also achieving good outcomes and satisfaction ratings.

“Healthwatch Plymouth welcomes being an active participant in the Plymouth Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB). We acknowledge the importance the board places on engaging with, listening to and acting upon the views and concerns of people in Plymouth. We also acknowledge the value that is placed upon prevention and early intervention as a key element in enhancing the health and wellbeing of people within their communities.”
Nick Pennell, Chair, Healthwatch Plymouth

Plymouth is implementing a network of wellbeing hubs where the public can access advice and support, such as social prescribing, along with a range of services and voluntary and community sector offers; and to provide a flexible base for the work of multidisciplinary teams. Four hubs are in place and others are being rolled out in a city-wide network. The hubs were co-designed with local stakeholders, and a key role is to support remodelled GP practices and primary care networks. This utilises Plymouth’s ‘one public estate strategy’, which aims to make better use of all public buildings.

The HWB supports ‘Thrive Plymouth’, the 10 year programme to narrow health inequalities in the city. Each year a new focus is launched, bringing in new partners to the Thrive Plymouth network and broadening the programme. Annual topics have included workplace wellbeing, healthy schools, mental wellbeing and people connecting through food.

Plymouth HWB works closely with the health overview and scrutiny panel, which examines system finance and performance and scrutinises priority areas.

Plymouth is an active partner in Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and is developing a local care partnership for Plymouth and West Devon. This will report to the HWB to ensure democratic accountability and alignment with the joint health and wellbeing strategy. Plymouth is aiming to establish a whole-person approach to integration, bringing together community health, adult social care, mental health and some children’s services, all based around primary care networks.

HWBs in the STP footprint have agreed to collaborate more closely across Devon, and have established an integrated commissioning executive across the clinical commissioning group and three local authorities to oversee commissioning at scale and by place. Other developments across the STP include a single Healthwatch and closer collaboration of HWB chairs across Devon.

Craig McArdle, Interim Strategic Director for People


Amelia Boulter, Democratic Support