Dear colleague,

Care and Health Improvement Programme

As you will be aware we have been working with the Department of Health since 2012 on a range of social care improvement and health integration programmes. This work includes programmes centred on Health and Wellbeing Boards, the response to Winterbourne View, the implementation of the Care Act and, more recently, care and health integration and the Better Care Fund.

I want to update you on our Care and Health Improvement Programme for 2015/16 and let you know how you can access the support we are making available.

Care and Health Improvement Programme in 2015/16

In recent months we have been consulting with colleagues from across the sector, within the Department of Health and NHS England, to refresh our programme. In developing the Programme, we have listened very carefully to what authorities, regional leaders and professional associations have told us. The consensus is for a continuation of a sector-led improvement approach that recognises the significant change that is happening within the care and health sector.

Our Programme will therefore seek to improve outcomes for local people by helping local authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards to:
• deliver better quality care and health;
• embed Health and Wellbeing Boards as place-based health and care leaders;
• make care and health sustainable locally; and
• use sector-led improvement to enable local authorities to increase public, regulator and government confidence in local care and health services.
To achieve this, the programme will provide support you in the following areas:
• Social Care Improvement: addressing risk management, resilience, workforce, safeguarding, learning disabilities, mental health and social care improvement
• Health and Wellbeing Boards: supporting systems leaders to be effective in their role and to plan ahead
• Care Act: helping authorities to embed the Act's social care changes and plan for funding reforms
• Integration: supporting authorities to deliver their approved Better Care Fund plans, prepare for the second year of the fund, and support the Pioneers, Vanguards and Five Year Forward View trials
• Informatics: helping authorities and clinical commissioning groups share data to improve the delivery of care services.
As the new Government’s plans become clearer we will undertake a mini review of the objectives in July, to ensure our Programme continues to support you.  Find out more about the Programme.

Our offer to you

The Programme provides for a broad range of support to authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards, some of it universally available and some according to need, including:

Leadership support
• Leadership Essentials for Health and Wellbeing Board chairs and vice chairs
• induction sessions for new Health and Wellbeing Board chairs and vice chairs
• mentoring for chairs, leaders and directors
• leadership training for senior managers in social care.
Peer challenge, support and diagnosis
• health and wellbeing peer challenges and follow-up support
• adult social care peer challenges
• social care commissioning peer challenges and follow-up support
• social care practice deep dives to support implementation and improvement
• integrated care operational peer support, offered jointly with the NHS
• health and wellbeing bespoke support
• risk assessment, identification and management.
Integration, implementation and improvement support
• regional products and tools to support implementation of the Better Care Fund and Care Act focused on the biggest risks areas to implementation
• products and tools to support implementation of Adult Safeguarding Boards, safeguarding and Commissioning for Better Outcomes
• support authorities and their CCG partners to redefine the way people with mental health and challenging behaviour are cared for locally
• products and tools to support the delivery of the Better Care Fund
• bespoke practical support to those places and areas that request it.
Public reporting and analysis
• social care annual report
• health and wellbeing state of the nation
• use of resources
• Care Act stocktakes
• area profiles for adult social care, public health, and health and wellbeing areas.
Regional networks
• supporting networks of regional health and wellbeing chairs, chief executives, directors of social care and operational managers
• supporting regional implementation networks for the Care Act and adult social care improvement
• providing expert senior Care and Health Improvement advisers, working with LGA principal advisers, to support improvement and change.
In addition to our support for your adult social care, health, and health and wellbeing board support, member councils also have access to our full corporate support offer. You can find out more about this from your principal advisor or at

Our support to you

Nationally, Andrew Webster will continue to lead and direct this programme for the LGA. Andrew is supported by Caroline Tapster, working on health and wellbeing issues, Sarah Mitchell on adult social care and Andrew Hughes on Care Act implementation. Sally Burlington leads our policy and lobbying work across all care and health issues.

You will be familiar with the support provided by our principal advisers, but the scale and pace of the agenda in this area means that we need to increase our senior capacity support available to you. We have therefore developed the care and health improvement advisers (formerly adult improvement advisers) role we created last year. They will work with your principal adviser to provide senior professional support, advice and capacity in social care and health to the regional lead members, chief executive and director of adult social services.

We will also provide a limited amount of additional funding to each region to enable co-operative working to support the delivery of the Programme. The Department of Health will also provide additional funds to specifically support the implementation of the Care Act and the NHS will allocate funding to NHS regions to support the implementation of the Better Care Fund in partnership with local government. See LGA regional funiding and allocations 2015-16 .

We continue to work with the Department to ensure that you have the maximum flexibility to use these funds in a way that meets regional needs and recognises the interrelationship between their policy objectives.

How to access this offer

To access this offer please contact your regional principal adviser or care and health improvement adviser or visit Care and Health Improvement Programme regional contacts for more details. They will be able to discuss your particular needs and advise you on what is available to address them.

Finally, we are continually looking to improve our advice and support that we offer to you. If you have any specific comments about the programme, or the way we are working with you to deliver it please contact Jackie Rowe (email: to discuss this.
With best wishes,

Carolyn Downs
Chief Executive, Local Government Association