The introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 provided us with new and exciting opportunities to work together across health and social care and address the key issues that undermine the health and wellbeing of those we serve in the city of Plymouth.
Over the years many attempts have been taken to address the inequalities that exist across our city. Whilst these have seen some success, inequalities still persist. What this tells us is that we must work differently as a board of partners and leaders if we truly want to achieve our vision, which has at its heart the inequality agenda.
We simply cannot go on doing what we have always done if we want to see different results for the people we serve.
Plymouth Health and Wellbeing Board – A different kind of partnership body
In September 2012 a Health and Wellbeing Development Group began to meet monthly. The sessions allowed the creative space for partners to co-design and own a vision and ways of working.
The group developed its vision and identified responsible members to take on work streams before the board became statutory. The Health and Wellbeing Board Vision is:
“Happy, Healthy, Aspiring Communities”
The purpose of the Board is “To promote the health and wellbeing of all citizens in the City of Plymouth”. All partners co-own the vision and have three principles of working together which are –
- we will work together and with those they serve to take joint ownership of the sustainability agenda
- we will ensure systems and processes will be developed and used to make the best use of limited resources, every time
- we will ensure partners move resources – both fiscal and human to the prevention, and, health and wellbeing agenda.
The membership of the group included all of those required by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, but partners knew that to achieve the step change in the health and wellbeing of the population we serve we needed other people and organisations to help us, therefore –
‘Our membership will be defined by the presence of partners whom we feel are most likely to be able to work together to deliver our vision’
Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
The Board has a duty to prepare a Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWBS) and partners have been working to understand their local community’s needs, agree draft priorities and create a JHWBS that will encourage commissioners to work in a more joined up way. As a result, patients and the public should experience more joined-up services from the NHS and local councils in the future.
The journey to achieve our vision stretches ahead of us and our Health and Wellbeing Strategy will describe our approach and the delivery plans over the coming years that we believe will deliver improved lives for all of our citizens.
The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) forms the base of evidence on which the Health and Wellbeing Strategy will be developed.
To help support accountability through council scrutiny as the health system was in transition the Health and Wellbeing development group and the Councils Health and Adult Social Care overview and scrutiny panel was one of 14 Scrutiny Development Areas. The results of the project are published in Spanning the System” Broader horizons for council scrutiny.
Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 transferred the responsibility to develop and update Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs) from Primary Care Trusts to Health and Wellbeing Boards (H&WBs) from 1 April 2013. This means that Plymouth’s H&WB has a legal duty to ensure the production of a PNA for Plymouth going forward.
The purpose of the PNA is to assess and set out how the provision of pharmaceutical services can meet the health needs of the population of a H&WB’s area for a period of up to three years, linking closely to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). Whilst the JSNA focusses on the general health needs of an area, the PNA looks at how those health needs can be met by pharmaceutical services commissioned by NHS England.