Progress continues to develop a new health and care system with greater local authority involvement

The work to develop an improved health and care system for the populations we serve continued its progress last week with the agreement of how our local authorities will be involved in the new arrangements.

All three upper tier councils – East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council – have now agreed how they will be represented and involved within the new NHS Sussex Integrated Care Board (ICB) and the new Sussex Health and Care Assembly.

From 1st July 2022, NHS Sussex will be a new NHS statutory body responsible for the performance, quality, financial management and improvement of health across Sussex. The Assembly will be a new statutory joint-committee between the NHS and local authorities and will oversee how health and care is meeting the needs, and improving the care and support, for the population of Sussex.

Details of the formal arrangements for how the new health and care system will work are outlined in a new draft constitution for NHS Sussex that has been published for public comment and feedback, before being formally agreed in July.

The councils will be represented on the Assembly by the Chairs of the Health and Wellbeing Boards, which will ensure a strong link with the local health and wellbeing needs and priorities of local populations. The councils will be represented on the Board of NHS Sussex ICB by a Director of Adult Services, a Director of Children’s Services and a Director of Public Health drawn from across the three councils. In addition, it has been agreed that the Chairs of the Health and Wellbeing Boards will also be invited to join the NHS Sussex Board meetings as non-voting observers.

Health and care organisations have increasingly worked in partnership over the last few years to improve the health and care of our populations. A significant amount of work has taken place behind the day-to-day frontline delivery of services to focus on how we can develop a system that enables our organisations and services to work in a more joined-up and collaborative way for the benefit of local people.

Stephen Lightfoot, Chair Designate of both NHS Sussex and the Sussex Health and Care Assembly, said: “We are delighted all three local authorities have agreed the formal arrangements which will help ensure there is greater joined-up thinking, decision-making and ways of working for the benefit of our population. We know that as little as 20% of what influences a person’s health and wellbeing is influenced directly by the NHS, with the other 80% involving other aspects of people’s lives, such as their education, living environment, employment, lifestyle and support networks. With this in mind, it is important that we create a health and care system that involves all partners working in a joined-up way to meet the needs of individuals and communities. Our local authorities play a crucial role in this and they will be integral in how our health and care system will work in the future.”

Read more around how our health and care system is changing.