The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities which gave an update on the development of a Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board for Halton and presented the Draft terms of Reference for comment and discussion.
The Board was advised that the Halton Health Partnership (HHP) currently acted as the thematic partnership for the Healthy Halton priority. The Partnership reported into the Halton Strategic Partnership Board as one of the five Specialist Strategic Partnerships (SSPs).
The Board was further advised that the HHP had a strategic responsibility for the Healthy Halton priority and for those elements of work that contributed to the objectives of the Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) and Local Area Agreement (LAA). The Halton Health Partnership was currently chaired by the Acting Director of Public Health.
It was reported that health priorities were also addressed by the Healthy Halton Policy and Performance Board and Children’s health issues were included in the work of the Children’s Trust and the Children and Young People’s PPB.
It was reported that safeguarding was addressed by the Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) which reported directly into the Safer Halton Partnership and was a non statutory board. Children’s Safeguarding issues were addressed by the Halton Safeguarding Children’s Board (HSCB) which was a statutory board that sat alongside Halton’s Children’s Trust, with each reporting into and providing challenge to the other. The HSCB, in addition also provided an annual report to the Council’s Executive Board.
Following an extensive consultation regarding the attached Terms of Reference set out in Appendix 1 to the report, it seemed appropriate to set up a Shadow Health and Well-being Board in Halton.
The Shadow Health and Well-being Board would be responsible for guiding and overseeing the implementation of the ambitions outlined in the Health White Paper as well as providing the strategic direction for the Health priority in Halton.
Formal decision- making responsibility would continue to rest with the Council’s Executive and the relevant governance bodies of the local health services until new legislation was enacted. Transitional governance arrangements were key in establishing the Shadow HWBB, given that Health and Well-being Boards would assume their statutory responsibilities from April 2013. In addition, Overview and Scrutiny issues would remain an integral independent arrangement within the Health Policy & Performance Board.
In terms of the relationship between the HWBB and Children’s Services it would seem short sighted to disassemble existing structures when they were working well. The Children’s Trust, LSCB and SAB should therefore have representation on the Health and Well-being Board. It was proposed that the Chair of these boards would fulfil this role and the Children’s Trust continue in its current format.
In conclusion, it was reported that It was proposed that a Shadow Health & Wellbeing Board would be established in October 2011. This would operate in shadow form and a review would be undertaken 12 months after its commencement and a further report to be presented to the Executive on its progress. The current Health SSP would be disbanded and many of their actions embedded into the new Shadow Board.
The following comments arose from the discussion:-
· It was noted that it was possible that there would be some duplication of roles between the Health Scrutiny PPB and the Health and Wellbeing Board. However, it was also noted that in light of the significant changes this would strengthen the scrutiny process;
· It was noted that Elected Members of Halton Borough Council had a corporate responsibility for the people in the Borough;
· Clarity was sought on whether the Health and Wellbeing Board would be subject to the Council’s ‘Call In’ procedure. In reply, it was reported that this information would be circulated to all Members of the Board;
· It was noted that the Health and Wellbeing Board would be responsible for overseeing the Joints Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and the transfer of public health. It was also noted that the formal transfer of public health was 2013 and that the JSNA was a web based document which was refreshed annually; and
· It was suggested that an awareness training seminar on the JSNA be arranged for Members of the Board.
(1) the report and comments made be noted; and
(2) a JSNA awareness seminar be arranged for Members of the Board.