I keep being asked about Health and Wellbeing Boards, and what they are for exactly, so I’ve written a one-page Health and Wellbeing Board Briefing Paper summarising the basics.
Lots of people seem to think that Health and Wellbeing Boards are high-powered people (ok, that bit is about right…) sitting around a big bag of cash and pondering whether it should be spent on local charities, pot-holes or a nice yachting holiday. The reality is not quite as exciting, what with the bags of cash being somewhat depleted with the current economic situation etc etc…
Anyway, I thought this briefing paper might be useful for other people to hand out too, so here it is:
All about… Health and Wellbeing Boards
Health and Wellbeing Boards are a new idea, to bring together local commissioners to work together to jointly plan more efficient and effective services for local people.
Health and Wellbeing Boards bring together commissioners – who plan and buy local health, social care and children’s services – from the NHS, Public Health and Social Care, as well as local councillors and a patient representative (from LINk/Local Healthwatch).
What will Health & Wellbeing Boards do?
- Challenges: The big pressures on public services include rising demand, rising health treatment costs – and the state of public finances.
- Planning services: With increasing pressures on public finances, it will be the job of the board to work together to plan services that meet the needs of local people, while achieving best value for money.
- Joint Strategic Needs Assessments: They will look at the evidence of what works best to help target plans and resources. They will be responsible for making sure that the local Joint Strategy Needs Assessment is written and that plans for services are based on this (the JSNA is a piece of research that every local authority has to undertake, which ‘tells the story’ of local people’s needs).
- Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy: They will be responsible for developing a local ‘Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy’, based on their JSNA. The Board will need to make sure that local services are in line with this Strategy.
- Look at the big picture: The Board will look at people’s health and social care needs together, as well as taking into account the bigger picture – things like transport, housing, jobs and leisure – so that services help people stay healthy and independent.
A bit of background:
- The idea for Health and Wellbeing Boards came from the Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently going through parliament. The Bill is part of the Government’s plans to change health and social care services and the way they are commissioned.
- Some of the Bill’s key plans include giving clinicians, such as GPs, responsibility for commissioning health services, and strengthening ‘local accountability’ – for which Health and Wellbeing Boards will have a crucial role and responsibility.
- All local authorities will have ‘shadow’ Health & Wellbeing Boards up and running by April 2012 and permanent boards will be in place by April 2013.
What to do with this information?
- Carry this briefing paper around with you to helpfully hand out to members of the public who want to know all about Health and Wellbeing Boards. Or to third sector people who are convinced that the Board is sitting around a big pot of cash…
Everyone seemed to like my Local HealthWatch Briefing Paper which I scribbled in October last year, but a few things have changed since then. I wouldn’t want you all wandering around with an outdated briefing paper in your paw, so I’ve put together a brand new version which hopefully reflects what we know at the moment.
What to do with this information:
- Gently pass it to your Local Authority Local HealthWatch Commissioner, who is probably crying at his/her desk;
- Have a read and let me know what I’ve missed, and drop me an email to let me know!
This is just the sort of thing that we occasionally need to trawl the web for, so I thought I’d upload these LINk Representative Role Descriptions that I’ve written. Hopefully they will be of use to you, if you are starting to draft these sorts of things for your own LINk Reps.
In the new NHS landscape there are two new boards where LINk or HealthWatch Representatives are likely to be required: the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Clinical Commissioning Group. (In Somerset we have two very lovely LINk Reps who have already plunged into the deep end with these roles: Eilleen Tipper on our CCG and Diane Jepson on our H&WBB.)
The question of how the jiggerty we actually make these public representative roles work is something that I think everyone is struggling to get their heads around, and seems to be the main bit of work that lots of HealthWatch Pathfinders are focusing on. I’m not sure about the answer to that one just yet… but in the meantime, here are the role descriptions (in Word format) that we’ve got as a starter for ten here in Somerset.
How to use this information:
Hopefully these will be of use for anyone who is starting to draft their own role descriptions. Please let me know what you think, and if you think it’s utter drivel and have some suggestions for improvement, please let me know!
Here’s a good paper for CCGs…
This handy NHS Confederation discussion paper has been doing the rounds recently. I think it’s a nice paper summarising engagement suggestions for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). CCGs need to get their heads around this stuff because, as this paper reminds us:
CCGs will be expected to have put an approach to enagement in place in order to achieve authorisation by the NHS Commissioning Board.
If your LINk is working with your local CCG, this would be a good paper to hand around. This paper is nice and concise – even I can manage to read 7 pages without getting distracted…
It doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin, as it really focuses on Clinical Commissioning Groups, and doesn’t focus on the new commissioning system in its entirity (i.e. it doesn’t mention Health and Wellbeing Boards). But it’s a good discussion paper and gives an honest view about some of the problems and difficulties of engagement.
It includes a handy one-page summary of “Common techniques used in engagement work” which lists engagement techniques, their advantages and disadvantages, and when they might be used.
LINks – are you working with your local Clinical Commissioning Group?
You really should be working with your local CCG as they develop their engagement work, because, again to quote from this paper:
CCGs will achieve most benefit by undertaking a thorough evaluation of existing PPE mechanisms before embarking on new approaches.
And obviously, being a keen LINk person you already have drawers stuffed full of this sort of information and mapping that you’ve been playing with for the last three years at least… So now’s the time to get it out and share.
What we’re doing in Somerset (as you asked)
In Somerset, we are lucky because the PCT is a cluster of one and we just have one Clinical Commissioning Group. (My sympathies to those LINks who have four…) The Somerset CCG was selected by the Department of Health to do some pilot work on patient engagement, so the Clinical Commissioning Group has two Patient Engagement Managers, Tony Hampson and Susan Harris. Tony and Susan have been working with the PCT’s Head of Patient Engagement, Margaret Grizzell, to pull together an Engagement Strategy for the CCG. Along with this, a 12-month Action Plan has been put together for developing and embedding patient engagement in the CCG’s processes. This is in its final stages, and once this has been finished, the documents will be made public (in the next couple of weeks) and then put out for feedback from the public and from Patient Participation Groups, patient groups etc.
I’ve been helping along the way with suggestions and facilitation and sharing any info that I have that might feed into this work. A conference is planned for December when a selection of groups and individuals will have the chance to look at the plan in more detail and feed back more ideas and suggestions. All in all, it seems to be developing well and is proving a great opportunity to draw together what we know about engagement locally and come up with new ideas for the future. I’ll keep you informed…
What to do with this data:
- Email it to all your chums in CCGs who are working on Engagement with you.
- Give it to Patient Reps who are keen on This Sort Of Thing as it gives a good basic overview of Engagement techniques.
- Read it yourself!
- Please note! This HealthWatch Briefing Paper has been superceded by the new and shiny Version 2, which you can find on my blog here.
It’s probably fair to say that I’ve become a bit of a HealthWatch Geek over the last few months. This is largely because I am naturally a bit swotty but also because I like a treasure hunt, and finding out any solid facts about Local HealthWatch feels rather like finding a needle in a big haystack of very boring documents from the Department of Health.
Anyway, to save our lovely local LINk people the trouble of staying up half the night reading through the footnotes in Department of Health Impact Assessments, I’ve put together a Local HealthWatch Briefing paper.
Now it has to be said that this is all my personal interpretation of the available documents, and others may disagree! If you disagree, please let me know and we can plan a lovely HealthWatch dinner party and spend all night discussing involvement and scrutiny over port and cheese. (Or I could just amend this document.) It is also written in a way that hopefully makes it accessible to as many people as possible, so I’ve tried to avoid long words that might add clarification or accuracy, but would also put people off or confuse people. So as such, it may not be as nuanced as it could be!
View the HealthWatch Briefing Paper:
What to do with this document:
Please do have a read and let me know your thoughts. Feel free to distribute it or upload it to your website if you want to. You are very welcome to use any part of this for any purpose that you like – if you want a copy in Word so that you can fiddle about with it, please email me and I’ll be happy to send you a copy. Enjoy!
Here’s a great article pointing to some interesting health data from the Guardian: England’s health data: How does your local authority compare?
This was published back in June but I’ve only just read it properly… and it’s fab! The Guardian is very good at messing around with data and transforming it into graphical prettiness… as the walls of our office testify. And they’ve produced this very cute interactive health map from this particular dataset.
About the Health profile data:
The data used for this health comparison tool is from the health profiles published on the Public Health Observatories website:
Every year, the Department of Health and the Public Health Observatories publish a detailed guide to health across each of the regions of England – by a load of indicators. This year, for the first time, they are published by local authority – giving us a level of comparative data we have never had before.
There are loads of great tools on the Public Health Observatories site, including a really good “Build-a-report” tool called Instant Atlas which throws up some interesting statistics with a little bit of fiddling about. It’s easy to use and brings up key facts on a nice red, amber, green sliding scale which makes things really easy to read. (In fact I have just said “Woah, I didn’t know that!” about five times while writing this and having a play with the Instant Atlas.)
What to do with this data:
- Have a fiddle with the Instant Atlas and learn some facts about your local authority area. This is really useful for pinning down key public health problems in your local area – and it’s so useful having data for local authority area, because this is of course the LINk boundary area too. Find out the key ‘problem areas’ in your area and use this knowledge when putting your work plan together.
The Office for National Statistics is the place to go for useful information about the area where you live. It’s super-handy for report writing, if you want to throw in some charming maps and bar-charts to illustrate the demographics of your area, with lots of lovely footnotes showing that you have done your research properly, see?
Find out some basic info about your neighbourhood
I recommend starting by looking at the statistics that are available for your neighbourhood, which you can find at neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. For a nice easy-to-read summary, enter your postcode in the right-hand section (‘Neighbourhood Summary’) and press SEARCH.
This will give you lots of useful figures – numbers of people living in your area, number of houses – and lots of other information from the Indices of Deprivation. It shows in a very simple graphical format how your neighbourhood compares with the national picture.
You can browse for more data covering all sorts of areas by clicking on the tabs at the top of the website, which will tell you information about people, health, business, work, education, housing – and all in nice simple diagrams! What’s not to like about that?
What are the Indices fo Deprivation?
Since the 1970s the government has calculated local measures of deprivation in England. This information is used to target resources (it’s v. useful for supporting funding applications). The following comes from the introduction to the report The English Indices of Deprivation 2010:
Deprivation covers a broad range of issues and refers to unmet needs caused by a lack of resources of all kinds, not just financial. The English Indices of Deprivation attempt to measure a broader concept of multiple deprivation, made up of several distinct dimensions, or domains, of deprivation.
The seven ‘domains’ are:
- Income deprivation
- Employment deprivation
- Health deprivation and disability
- Education, skills and training deprivation
- Barriers to housing and services
- The living environment deprivation
Find out more:
If you want to find out more about the Indices of Deprivation you can view the full reports and excel spreadsheets via:
What to do with this data:
- Put it in your reports of course! This data is perfect for producing lots of lovely nuggets of information for providing background information for reports. Very useful for the ‘local background’ section of your LINk Annual Report, too.
- Print out boundary maps: There is a very useful tool for printing out boundary maps on the ONS site here. If you have a bit of a fiddle you can print off all sorts of useful maps – ward boundaries, PCT boundaries, Local Authority boundaries – all of which is useful for many reasons, not least so you can work out whether you are actually turning up at the right LINk…
The poor Datagoat has been rather neglected of late, but I have a nice juicy organogram to cheer us all up. I am working on some other bits and pieces too, but this was too delicious not to share.
The Westminster Blog has published these fabbie organograms showing how the structure of the NHS is changing. Click on the smaller images in the blog and they will take you to larger, clearer images.What to do with this data
The diagrams speak for themselves which is why I love them so much. They are very useful for conveying to people some of the enormous complexity of how things are changing.
I have printed them out and stuck them on the wall of the datagoat’s pen so I can admire them during the day, and I recommend that you do the same.*
*They have actually missed out Local HealthWatches, so you will need to draw those on with a crayon.