Published in April 2018, this report has only recently come to our attention. Conclusions from the report identify that HWBs are currently at a crossroads with two possible future scenarios ahead of them. The first scenario involves HWBs being revisited and reconstituted to assume responsibility as the accountable organisation for the delivery of place-based population health in an area, with STPs/ACSs and CCGs being held accountable to boards.
An alternative scenario would see HWBs merely becoming, or continuing to be on the basis of the evidence from the study, talking shops which are effectively left to wither on the vine as STPs/ACSs effectively take over their role and function. It is suggested this second scenario would be regrettable for a number of reasons - notably the following: HWBs enjoy member participation from the highest levels in partner organisations, they are the only body with a democratic accountability and the only body able to connect with, and respond to, local communities.