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Local authorities and health & wellbeing boards

Influencing toolkit 8

Why are Health and Wellbeing Boards important to physiotherapy?

  • Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) assess need and set priorities for the area. This informs commissioners’ decisions on what local health services will be funded
  • They are influential in setting out priorities for public health and social care services, which are commissioned by local authorities
  • What HWBs do will affect the physiotherapy services we have now and in the future.

What are Health and Wellbeing Boards?

  • HWBs are hosted by local authorities and bring together local decision-makers on health for that area
  • They produce a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for the area
  • They produce a Health and Wellbeing Strategy based on the assessment
  • Must include at least one councillor
  • Must include the Local Authority Directors of Public Health, Adult Social Care and Childrens Services
  • Must include reps from all Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Must include a rep from the local Health Watch
  • May add others to this list and set up sub groups to look at particular issues
  • They are subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

How are local authorities involved in health?

Local authorities have a growing involvement in the health system. Hosting Health and Wellbeing Boards is part of this. So it is important that they understand the contribution

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What can I do?

What makes sense for you will depend on  your situation. These are just a few ideas:

  • Find out about your local Health and Wellbeing Board, who’s who, who you know already and who you want to get to know
  • Develop relationships with key people on your HWB
  • Make sure there is someone who can represent physiotherapy on your HWB. If there is no one, why not contact the Chair to ask for a Physiotherapy or AHP rep to be invited into it
  • Look up HWB plans on their website. Find out when these are going to be reviewed  and consulted on. You may be able to sign up for email alerts
  • Link up with others with a shared agenda, such as other members, AHP colleagues, patient groups 
  • Find out what other CSP members are doing and share what you find out. Get in touch with your Regional Network
  • Working together helps us all. Let us know how you get on through your Regional Network.

Further resources

This information forms part of the CSP's influencing toolkit

Download a PDF version of this information


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