Lansley announces £1m for health and wellbeing boards

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has announced an extra £1m to help get health and wellbeing boards off the ground.

Speaking today at the Local Government Association annual conference in Birmingham, Mr Lansley said the funding would support network and learning arrangements for the boards and help them get up and running.

‘We are basing the NHS on the principle that local decision making will have transformative effects,’ he told delegates.

He said the new boards will be ‘locally led and clinically led’.

The health secretary also defended the Government’s controversial plans to reform the NHS, under the Health and Social Care Bill.

‘We regard this as a co-production with local government,’he said.’We want to be sure we are working together.’

He said the NHS would become more focussed on outcomes, with decision-making being devolved to the frontline. He also promised a stronger structure for public health and a more sustainable future for social care.

Cllr David Rogers, who chairs the LGA’s community and well being board, said ‘very significant progress’ had been made on the Health and Social Care Bill through the recent two-month listening exercise.

He welcomed the renewed emphasis on place-based healthcare and greater transparency, but the deputy leader of Bolton MBC, Linda Thomas, said the plans to reform the NHS were a ‘major distraction’ and that the new health and wellbeing boards needed ‘some teeth’.