Cabinet agree new board to improve joint working with health

Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet has agreed to the establishment of a new board that will improve joint working between the NHS and the council ahead of national changes to health at their meeting this week..

The new shadow health and well-being board builds on existing partnership arrangements and will bring together elected Members and representatives from the NHS, social care, public health, third sector and Healthwatch to work together to improve the commissioning and delivery of services.

Health and well-being boards are part of proposed changes that have been set out in the Health and Social Care Bill. If the bill receives Royal Assent, the county council will be required to establish a permanent Health and Well-being Board by April 2013.

Cumbria County Council is one of 134 local authorities that signed up to be early implementers for health and well-being boards.

Cllr James Airey, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said:“This new shadow board will allow us to build on a strong relationship with our partners in health. We are already working on a range of joint initiatives, for example we are working together to tackle health inequalities as part of £13 million investment we announced last year.

“Setting up the shadow board will also give us an opportunity to develop the model and test the new arrangements thoroughly and ensure we are prepared for the stronger role we will play in shaping services.”

Professor John Ashton, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “Here in Cumbria we already have a close working relationship between the county council and NHS in a variety of different areas. The creation of a shadow health and well-being board will help to cement that relationship and take that work forward in the future.

“In particular, it should enable us to tackle the key challenges, such as an ageing population and the need to make sure our young people enjoy the highest possible levels of health.”