From April 2013, as part of the government’s reforms, responsibility for commissioning many public health services moved from the NHS to local authorities and a new executive agency of the Department of Health, Public Health England. As local authorities took on their new public health responsibilities. Directors of public health were also given statutory positions on the new health and wellbeing boards – bodies designed to bring together the Health system (NHS and other bodies) and the Public Health system, including all the local provision of social care.
These changes presented a new challenge to the Local Government Association (LGA), in its role supporting and representing local authorities in all their work.
In the years following the change, the LGA has designed, piloted and launched a number of interventions to be offered through local authorities, to help them in developing the processes and thinking needed to integrate the efforts of these two systems. These have include their Integration Workshop, designed for Health and Wellbeing Boards, their Systemwide Care and Health Peer Challenge and most recently, their Prevention at Scale programme.
Risk Solutions was invited to design a simple and flexible evaluation framework that could provide feedback to the LGA on the efficacy of each of these interventions, not just at the end but during their development, piloting and early implementation – the focus being on constant learning, reflection and adjustment. In addition to designing and supporting the evaluation process, our lead consultant spent time embedded with the LGA evaluation team during some of the interventions, providing real feedback ‘from the coal face’ and, at some points, in real time.
“Risk Solutions has an ability to work flexibly and collaboratively but still brings rigour and useful reflections from other work” Caroline Tapster – Director, Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme LGA