Norfolk to take a step closer to new integrated approach to health and care
25 January 2022
Norfolk County Council is set to agree their support for new local Health and Wellbeing Partnerships, putting local communities at the heart of health and care in their area.
Under the Health and Care Bill, Integrated care systems (ICSs) are being established in all areas of the country to drive changes that are intended to lead to better, more joined-up care for the population.
Much of the activity to deliver integrated health and care and improve the population’s health will happen more locally in the places where people live and work, meaning the new Health and Wellbeing Partnerships will play a key role in driving forward this activity.
Details of how this model will operate are being taken to Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet meeting next week, seeking the support of the council for the ICS work.
Cllr Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Chair of Norfolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “I think that this is a great opportunity for Norfolk. By getting these new Health and Wellbeing Partnerships right, we can give communities a chance to be part of the decision making on health that has such a major impact on the lives and wellbeing of the people in their area. This will make the system more responsive to local need and bring it closer to the people it serves.”
The local Health and Wellbeing Partnerships will have a key focus on preventing ill health, addressing health and wellbeing issues early and helping people live more independent, healthier lives for longer. For that reason, they will bring together a wide range of partners to act on the full range of factors that influence health and wellbeing such as education, employment and housing.
Cllr Alison Thomas, Vice Chair of Norfolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board and South Norfolk District Council Portfolio Holder for Better Lives, said: “Getting local bodies more involved in the health and care system means more opportunity to set priorities that communities need. This isn’t just about councils and NHS groups, but about local volunteers and carers who already do such much for health and wellbeing getting recognised and having a chance to shape the system.”
District Councils, are expected to take a leading role in the Health and Wellbeing Partnerships, which will bring together statutory and non-statutory bodies at a local level, including the County and District Councils, the NHS and the wider voluntary and community sector. The County Council’s Cabinet will decide next week whether to formally ask the District Councils to commit to the leadership of these partnerships within their areas.
While final proposals for the boundaries between the Health and Wellbeing Partnerships are yet to be published, there are unlikely to be more than a maximum of eight, following the seven district and borough division in Norfolk plus Waveney.
The proposals will be considered by Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet meeting at 10am on Monday 31 January. Papers and livestream link for the meeting are available online.