Understanding the context
On 1 April 2013 the Health and Social Care Bill came into effect, fundamentally altering the way in which the healthcare system operates. The Act represents one of the most radical shake-ups of the NHS ever seen, setting out a major reform programme to restructure healthcare services and reallocate public health responsibilities.
The new system focuses more on prevention and on empowering local communities to plan services according to their local priorities. This is led by local authorities who are now directly responsible for the health of their local populations and receive ring-fenced funding accordingly.
Each local authority has a director of public health who is responsible for exercising public health functions. They will contribute to revising the local annual Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and develop the annual Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS).
The JSNA is the process and document through which local authorities, the NHS, service users and the community and voluntary sector research and agree a comprehensive local picture of health and wellbeing needs. The development of the JSNA will be the responsibility of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and councils through Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs).
Local authorities are legally required to establish a Health and Wellbeing Board, which include a wide range of expertise including councillors, GPs, health and social care officers and representatives of patients and the public. It will lead and advise on work to improve health and reduce health inequalities among the local population. Each Board is required to produce a JHWS for the local area based on the needs identified in the JSNA.
Alongside this are CCGs made up of a range of healthcare professionals including GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and others. CCGs will commission the majority of health services including emergency care, elective hospital care and community and mental health services and will work closely with HWBs to ensure that services are integrated and deliver the best quality health and care outcomes for their population.
How can Sport England help?
- Map the landscape, be clear who you want to influence and understand their priorities. This includes making links with the HWB: there may be a representative with an interest in sport and physical activity who might help with advocacy. The documents below will help you to understand different partners and their priorities
- The Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association has produced a helpful resource which outlines The Role of Culture and Leisure in Improving Health and Wellbeing
- The Sport and Recreation Alliance alongside UK Active has a similar document which outlines the key new health organisations, their priorities and how to engage
- Refer to How Do I Demonstrate the Benefits of Sport to Health Improvement for information on how to make the case to a range of partners
- Talk to your county sports partnership who may be able to provide you with an overview of your local landscape.
What's the result?
By using the material from these tools you will be able to:
- Understand who are key players and what their priorities are
- Influence your Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
- Influence your Health and Wellbeing Strategies to make sport and wider physical activity a priority
- Develop relationships with directors of public health, commissioners and others.