Message from Kathy Smethurst and Usama Edoo at the Department of Health with an update on the secondary legislation for health and wellbeing boards:
“We had intended to share our plans for the secondary legislation with shadow health and wellbeing boards during September, following the engagement exercise that took place earlier in the summer. Due to the need for us to engage the new Ministerial team on our plans following the reshuffle, this has been slightly delayed.
We are now planning to share our plans with shadow boards later this month. The focus of the legislation remains, as set up in the powers in the Health and Social Care Act, to disapply or modify elements of the existing legislation relating to section 102 committees of local authorities (the Health and Social Care Act says that health and wellbeing boards will be treated as a section 102 committee) where this is needed to enable health and wellbeing boards to function in line with the policy intention.
The overiding message we heard from the engagement exercise, was the need for local flexibility in relation to areas such as political proportionality, where the feedback was that the current requirements should be lifted through the regs. We also heard that some elements of the current requirements, such as around transparency, should be retained.
The document we plan to share later this month will set out which specific provisions in the current legislation we intend to disapply, modify and retain. It will not be a draft of the regulations, but we will be happy to take questions and discuss in further detail what we expect the regulations to contain if that is helpful to local areas. The legislation itself is due to be laid in January 2013.”