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Health and wellbeing boards

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Understanding the background to health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) and how to engage with them can be important to influencing the commissioning of health and social care services.

Roles and responsibilities

What are health and wellbeing boards?

Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) are part of the new health commissioning landscape introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The Act moved responsibility for public health into local government, and created several new bodies – including HWBs. They set the strategic health and wellbeing priorities for the local area and help guide the work of the local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); they are therefore important bodies for voluntary sector organisations to engage with.

To a large degree, the best way of engaging will depend on the relationships and structures which already exist in your local area. This guide provides a framework to help you get started in creating a sustainable and mutually productive relationship with your HWB by outlining options to consider and questions to ask.

Good relationships rely on both parties understanding each other: explaining the value of the voluntary sector is much easier if you can put yourself in a HWB’s shoes. As a result, we emphasise the importance of planning and doing your research beforehand both in terms of logistics (who to approach and how) and in demonstrating impact. Investing resources in this at an early stage will be well worth the effort if it leads to better partnership working later on.

Roles and responsibilities 

Page last edited Mar 28, 2017

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