Although a formal committee of Brighton & Hove City Council, the Health & Wellbeing Board has a remit which includes matters relating to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Local Safeguarding Board for Children and Adults and Healthwatch.


Title: HWB Development Task & Finish Group: Report Back with Proposals for Further HWB Development



Date of Meeting:


02 November 2021

Report of: Executive Director, Health & Adult Social Care



Contact:  Giles Rossington



Tel: 01273 295514




Wards Affected: All






Executive Summary


In March 2021 the HWB agreed proposals to improve the functioning of the Board, including expanding membership and establishing a separate Adult Social Care & Public Health Sub-Committee. The HWB also agreed to set up a task & finish group to explore and report back with recommendations on further development opportunities for the Board. Details of the task & finish Group recommendations are provided below.





1.           Decisions, recommendations and any options



That the Board agrees:


1.1        To use the Brighton & Hove Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) Executive Group  for advice when developing the HWB work plan and suggested agendas for HWB meetings. The role of the ICP Executive Group in the HWB work plan will be wholly advisory, with final decisions on the content of HWB agendas remaining the prerogative of the HWB Chair.


1.2        To commission an external consultant to plan and deliver an annual programme of up to four HWB Development seminars, including an initial seminar to identify joint priorities;


1.3        To jointly develop an engagement plan based on the priorities identified in development seminars;


1.4        To establish a Planning Group to replace the current Task & Finish Group.


2.      Relevant information


2.1         At its March 2021 meeting the HWB agreed to establish a task & finish group    to explore further development opportunities for the Board. The HWB Development Task & Finish Group includes representation from BHCC Adult Social Care, Public Health, Brighton & Hove CCG, and the local Voluntary & Community Sector.


2.2         The Task & Finish Group met three times between June and October 2021. The Group has made recommendations on several development areas.


2.3         Joint Agenda Planning.


2.3.1    The HWB is, in legal terms, a committee of Brighton & Hove City Council, and as with any other Council committee, agendas are set by the committee Chair. However, the HWB is also a partnership body, bringing together the city council, local NHS commissioners and providers, safeguarding representatives, local Healthwatch, and representatives of the city voluntary & community sector. Key to any successful partnership is that all partners are fully involved in setting and contributing to the work of the partnership. There is scope here to better involve HWB partners in work planning, so that the Board’s work plan is jointly-owned, reflecting the interests of all partners. However, we need to be aware that setting up additional partner meetings to plan agendas etc. is a potential burden on all involved.


2.3.2    The Brighton & Hove Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) Executive Group brings together a range of local NHS, city council and CVS representatives to plan the development of the city health & care system. Membership of the ICP Executive Group includes the majority of organisations represented on the HWB. As the ICP Executive Group is the core group for developing the Brighton & Hove health & care system, it is also the best-placed body to advise on strategic planning across the system. The ICP Executive Group has indicated that it would be happy to provide input into the development of a strategic workplan for the HWB. This would both link the HWB with the development of place-based health & care planning in the city and provide a forum where the majority of HWB member organisations could contribute ideas to the HWB work plan without requiring any additional meeting to be set up. Please note: the ICP Executive Group is the current name for the place-based health and care partnership body for Brighton & Hove. However, the name of the group may have to change in coming months, as ‘Integrated Care Partnership’ is the term that the Health & Social Care Bill (2021) uses to describe the principle executive body for each Integrated Care System region. The proposal here is to use the local place-based partnership to advise on HWB work planning, not the regional partnership.


2.3.3    It should be stressed that the role of the ICP Executive Group in the HWB work plan would be wholly advisory: final decisions on the content of HWB agendas would remain the prerogative of the HWB Chair. In essence, this would just formalise the informal conversations that already take place with HWB partners in the early stages of developing proposals for HWB agendas.


2.3.4    Not all HWB member organisations are currently represented on the ICP Executive Group. Where they are not represented, officers will contact  each partner to ask how they would prefer to be involved in the development of the HWB work plan.


2.4     HWB Development Programme.


2.4.1    Many successful HWBs run some form of development/seminar programme in parallel with their formal Board meetings. These programmes typically take the form of themed events where Board members can explore single topics in depth. Drawing on best practice from other HWBs, the Task & Finish Group identified two key factors in a successful development/seminar programme:


·        A development programme needs to meet the requirements of all partners and to support the strategic objectives of the HWB;

·        Expert facilitation is crucial to the success of a seminar programme.


2.4.2    Currently, HWB partners have neither the capacity nor the expertise to inaugurate a seminar programme, particularly in terms of drawing on best practice from other HWBs. It is therefore proposed that an external facilitator with a track record of supporting HWB development is appointed to run up to four development seminars in the coming year. This would be a time-limited approach, with officers from HWB member organisations supporting and observing the seminar programme with the aim of being in a position to then run future seminars without external facilitation. Officers have begun exploring this idea with the Local Government Association (LGA), and the LGA has expressed interest in working with the HWB on this, with the initial costs of external facilitation being met by the LGA as part of their health and care support offer to member Local Authorities. The degree to which the LGA may be willing to further support a development seminar programme is current unclear, and it may be that there will be a requirement to find a small pot of pooled funding from existing resources to support a programme past the initialisation stage.


2.4.3    It is also proposed that the first event in the seminar programme should be a facilitated planning session in which HWB partners identify their priorities for the rest of the programme and for HWB engagement.


2.5      Engagement Plan.


 2.5.1  A number of public responses to the public consultation on HWB review plans (Nov/Dec 2020) identified engagement as a problem for the Board. Suggestions included doing more to publicise HWB meetings; developing better links with CVS organisations and with service users; and holding dedicated engagement events.


2.5.2   All of the ideas put forward by residents have merit and are worth exploring in more depth. However, it is also important for a partnership body to determine jointly what issues it wants to engage on. If we can do this, then we can link in with each HWB partners’ organisational engagement plans, and have HWB engagement that is focused and powerful. It is therefore proposed that the first HWB development seminar (see point 2.4 above) is used to identify joint engagement priorities for the Board, and that these form the basis of a HWB engagement plan to be developed with input from the Communications teams in partner organisations and overseen by the HWB Development planning group (see point 2.6 below).


2.5.3   In the short term it is proposed that the BHCC Communications team be asked to pull together a briefing to be circulated to HWB partners and other stakeholders following HWB meetings. This briefing will outline the issues discussed and the decisions taken by the HWB.


2.6      The Task & Finish Group.


2.6.1   The HWB Development Task & Finish Group was intended to run for only a relatively short time. However, there are several areas of HWB development in which there will be a continuing need for coordination. These include:


·         Oversight of the development of the HWB seminar programme (see point 2.4 above)

·         Coordination of the HWB work plan (see point 2.3 above)

·         Developing a HWB engagement plan (see point 2.5 above)

·         Monitoring the implementation of the Health & Care Act and reporting back to the HWB with recommendations for further development/review of the Board so that it remains as relevant as possible in the context of the development of new Sussex-wide and place-based health and care governance structures.


2.6.2   As the HWB is a partnership body, it is important that we have partner input into these areas. It is therefore proposed that the HWB Development Task & Finish Group is replaced by an informal working group - the HWB Development Planning Group. The membership of the group would include the current membership of the Task & Finish Member Working Group, key officers and additional partners who may be asked for input on specific issues (e.g. Comms teams in terms of developing an engagement plan). The informal Planning Group will also establish close working links with the HWB Chair and Deputy Chairs: e.g. by inviting them to Group meetings.


2.6.3   It is proposed that the Planning Group should be reviewed after one year in operation.


3.      Important considerations and implications




3.1       There are no legal implications arising from this report.




Lawyer consulted:        Elizabeth Culbert                     Date:13.10.21





3.2         There are minimal financial implications arising from this report. There may be a very small cost to be incurred should an external consultant be commissioned to deliver development seminars, however, these may be partly funded by the Local Government Association.




Finance Officer consulted:     Sophie Warburton        Date: 20/10/2021




3.3         In determining its work plan, the HWB should take account of the needs of protected groups, particularly as some protected groups (e.g. older people) are particularly reliant on health, care and wellbeing services. The above proposals present a greater opportunity for local CVS organisations representing protected groups to have a say in HWB agenda-setting. In agreeing a seminar programme and engagement priorities, the HWB should also take account of the needs of protected groups. Again, the full involvement of CVS representatives and of Healthwatch Brighton & Hove will ensure that organisations representing the views and interests of protected groups are taken into account




3.4         There is a significant cross-over between initiatives to improve environmental sustainability and initiatives to improve health and wellbeing. For example, increasing active travel (walking and cycling) will reduce carbon emissions, and will also improve people’s physical and mental health. When choosing priorities for the Board, members will be asked to consider sustainability issues alongside those of improving health, care and wellbeing.


Health, social care, children’s services and public health:


3.5         In choosing priorities for Board development and engagement, members will need to bear in mind the priorities of the city Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy.




Supporting documents and information