LGA responds to Health and Care Bill announcement in the Queen’s Speech

There should be local flexibility, with health and local government leaders working as equal partners, to establish the ICS Health and Care Partnership in a way that works for each area and builds on existing effective partnerships.


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Responding to the announcement of the Health and Care Bill in the Queen’s Speech, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“We support an equal partnership approach to improving health and wellbeing, health and care services and ensuring the best use of resources, through the Integrated Care Board and an ICS Health and Care Partnership.

“There should be local flexibility, with health and local government leaders working as equal partners, to establish the ICS Health and Care Partnership in a way that works for each area and builds on existing effective partnerships.

“We believe that the proposed Health and Care plan for each system should have a broad objective of improving the health of the population and reducing health inequalities, which will involve a wide range of strategies and services across the public, private and community sector. It is vital that there is a balance of power between the NHS Board and the Health and Care Partnership.

“We are disappointed at the lack of consideration of children and young people’s health in the white paper. In adopting a population health approach, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will need to work closely with public health in local government, education, early years services and the private and voluntary sector to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Getting support right from pregnancy and early childhood will have lifelong impacts and needs a far higher priority, due to its long-term benefits.

“We strongly support that, wherever possible, the ICS footprint matches that of councils with adult social care responsibilities. We urge government to resolve any problematic ICS footprints at the earliest opportunity through a transparent transition process, involving all relevant councils and NHS organisations.

“ICSs will also need support to ensure that decisions will be taken at the most local appropriate level, based on existing place-based partnerships, in particular Health and Wellbeing Boards.”