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Health and wellbeing boards: System leaders or talking shops?

In its White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (Department of Health 2010a), the government set out its intention to strengthen the role of local government in local health services. Statutory health and wellbeing boards would be established across the country to encourage local authorities to take a more strategic approach to providing integrated health and local government services. The boards will bring together those involved across the NHS, public health, adult social care and children’s services, as well as elected representatives and representatives from HealthWatch, to jointly plan how they can best meet local health and social care needs.