Cambridge Local Health Partnership April 2013
The papers for this meeting are available on the City Council website.
The relationship between the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board and the different Local Health Partnerships (LHP) is still developing. This is further complicated by the changes to the national health landscape that saw the Clinical Commissioning Groups going live on the 1st April.
To say there is some confusion about who does what, where budgets lie and who is responsible for different aspects of things is an understatement. Check out the Glossary page for some help on what the different groups are and what they may be doing.
The meeting had three main areas of discussion.
1. An update on the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board. (HWB)
This is no longer a shadow board and their strategy has been published with six clear areas work or themes. My issue with this board is that it is being given massive amounts of prominence but it does not have any spending power, it can simply recommend to partners how they might want to spend their funds. That said it does bring a large number of partners together and it has developed a strategy that it is difficult to disagree with. There is however no place for the Voluntary Sector and as such we find ourselves trying to influence it from the sidelines. This is despite one of their priorities stating “Seek the views of local people and build on the strengths of local communities, including the local voluntary sector, to enhance social cohesion, and promote social inclusion of marginalised groups and individuals.”
2. An update on the work of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
This is now live. It is the overarching group responsible for commissioning health services and is made up of eight Local Commissioning Groups (LCG) (two of which cover Cambridge). The LCGs will have budgets to commission local services and the CCG will be responsible for ensuring a joined up response and will be accountable to the national board (which will also commission some things like health visitors). This structure replaces the PCT and as such replaces a significant funder of VCS activity, as yet they seem to be unable to tell us how this might work in the future, despite the fact that the future is already here. We will try to clear this issue up (a bit) in a future blog.
3. A discussion on Housing Related Support Services and the Housing and Health JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment).
A very detailed report on the link between Housing and Health has been written (the JSNA) this is available on the County JSNA website If you work in housing or a related area it is a useful source of data assuming you have the time to read it (There are 108 pages).
The sector obviously plays an important role in this area providing many of the support services on offer but also in many other ways. This is recognised but again perhaps we could do more to highlight the importance of the work. Please comment below and let us know what your organisation does in this area of work.
The depth of the role that the sector plays in health has been researched and reported on many times. However we still have little understanding of the reality of the sectors role in the wider health and wellbeing environment. We also have no idea how the sector will be affected by the change from the PCT to the Clinical Commissioning groups, will there still be grants, how will groups that get funded across different areas receive money and what will happen if some local commissioners fund a service and some don’t – will groups be left offering services to only a few based on where they live or the GP they are under?
What we would like to see happen.
• A JSNA on the VCS and health being commissioned. This would give us the opportunity to show the importance of the sectors role as well as help us to highlight the way the sector can support the work of the HWB and the LHPs. This was raised with the Director of Public Health at the County Council and we will follow this up.
• Clear guidelines from the Clinical Commissioning groups about how they plan to fund the work of the sector, both new projects as well as projects previously funded by the PCT.
What you can do for us.
1. Let us know what sort of services you are providing around the Health and Wellbeing agenda
2. Let us know what has happened about your PCT funding if you received it in the past.
3. Let us know what issues you think are important for us to raise with the Cambridge Local Health Partnership.
- Local NHS Commissioning – the upheaval begins (carersblog.wordpress.com)
- Health and wellbeing (jonathanmason1.wordpress.com)
- A NEW ERA FOR THE NHS: Health and Wellbeing Boards (ersblog.com)
- Why clinical commissioning groups need to think differently about patients (guardian.co.uk)
- Press release: Voluntary groups lend a hand to government to improve health and wellbeing (gov.uk)