A new initiative to help create stronger links between Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) and independent health and care providers is being set up to ensure that services focus on the individual needs of users.
NHS Partners Network (NHSPN) and the English Community Care Association (ECCA) have joined forces to support their members in approaching HWBs but also to help boards develop a clear understanding of what local independent health and care services have to offer the sector.
The initiative was developed following a joint survey by NHSPN and ECCA which was sent to members last July to explore the current relationship between HWBs and independent providers. Although HWBs are still relatively new the feedback was disappointing and showed a lack of engagement with HWBs.
A spokesperson from NHSPN explained: “HWBs are going to be central to health and care reform and it is vital to ensure they have strong links with all local providers in their area. Our main aim is to support our members in approaching HWBs but we also hope to see a willingness on the part of HWBs to work closely with independent health and care providers.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of ECCA, added: “While the results of the survey were very negative and did not show any real engagement between providers and HWBs, we recognise these are still early days for the boards and there have been many demands on them in terms of determining priorities.”
“However, this sector has a lot to offer and can support the local health and social care economies to meet the integration agenda and ensure services are built around individuals in the community and not in hospital. So it will be important for the Boards to have a clear understanding of the capability and capacity of local independent health and care services.”