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Crime Crime

Ensure that crime commissioners sit on local health and wellbeing boards

Last updated: 02:31pm 15 December 2018

We will ensure that commissioners sit on local health and wellbeing boards, enabling better co-ordination of crime prevention with local drug and alcohol and mental health services.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.45

Our verdict

Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) were introduced in 2013, as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. They were designed to assist with commissioning and delivering services in the NHS and local government. The act sets out the details of a core membership, but there is no requirement for police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to be board members.

In 2016, the government wrote to the chairs of all HWBs and to all PCCs encouraging the inclusion of  PCCs among the membership.

This policy is a promise to “ensure” that PCCs become board members. That would require an amendment of the membership requirements outlined in the Health and Social Care Act.

Under this government there have been no changes to the membership requirements for HWBs.

A review by Public Health England of policing and health collaboration, published in February 2018, found that responses from police forces surveyed showed a “mixed picture of engagement with health and wellbeing boards”. Regarding the involvement of PCCs on the boards, the review only reiterated the sentiments of the letter from 2016:

“Police forces and police and crime commissioners are not required to be members, although this is encouraged”

To “ensure” PCCs sit on the boards it would have to be made a membership requirement, or else be included in the official duties of all PCCs, or both. If a planned change is announced we will be able to move this to ‘in progress’. But we can find no evidence of any attempt to fulfil this pledge, so we’re marking it as ‘not started’. Follow this policy to stay updated.

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