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Paper  8 - 30 November 2001Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

30 November 2001

RESPONSE TO THE GOVERNMENT’S CONSULTATION ON THE PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A NEW HEALTH AUTHORITY FOR HAMPSHIRE AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Report by the Chief Executives’ Group

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RECOMMENDATIONS

(1) That the proposal for Strategic Health Authority for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight be supported subject to the need to improve cross-border flexibilities particularly in the Blackwater Valley; and

(2) That the Chief Executives’ Group reports further on the future relationship between the fifteen local authorities, the Strategic Health Authority and the PCTs network.
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1. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health Authorities gave a presentation on the proposed re-organisation at the last meeting of the Association. The re-organisation within our area is part of a national change which:

* makes Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) the "cornerstone of the NHS" locally, charged with working in partnership with local authorities. PCTs will take on many of the day to day functions of the existing health authorities;

* establishes a pattern of around 30 Strategic Health Authorities for England from April 2002.

* abolishes existing health authorities and NHS regional offices.

2. These national changes flow from the Government’s NHS Plan and are not the subject of consultation, but it is important to note that this Association has supported the development of Primary Care Trusts.

3. The current consultation relates simply to the boundaries of the new Strategic Health Authority (StHA). The options are:

* Option 1, the option preferred by the existing health authorities and by the Secretary of State, for a Hampshire and Isle of Wight StHA.

* Option 2, for a Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Surrey StHA.

4. These options do not affect the pattern of ten PCTs emerging across our area:

Isle of Wight

Havant/Petersfield

New Forest

Winchester/Andover

Southampton

Eastleigh/Romsey

Gosport/Fareham

Basingstoke/Alton

Portsmouth

Hart/Rushmoor

5. The Local Government Association has lobbied for coterminosity between StHAs and local authorities. The Association of Councils in the Thames Valley Region (Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire) has lobbied for one StHA to cover their area. Border authorities such as Rushmoor particularly want to ensure that cross-border flexibilities are improved and not hindered by this re-organisation.

6. The Surrey Local Government Association opposes a joint Hampshire/Surrey StHA and there is support for the preferred option throughout Hampshire. The Isle of Wight supports the increased autonomy created by the establishment of a PCT for the Island.

7. A formal response in favour of the preferred option is therefore recommended. The debate now needs to move on so that the new NHS structures work with the local authorities successfully in all areas including public health, health promotion, health and social care, environmental management etc. In addition there is the proposal to extend the local authority scrutiny role to cover the NHS, which will be the subject of further consultation.

8. Working with the PCTs as the "cornerstone" will be critical, but for some functions co-operation between the PCTs will be very important. The fact that the Hampshire/Isle of Wight PCTs have established a PCT network is therefore to be welcomed.

9. A number of authorities are currently briefing Members on the implications of all these changes. In view of the priority accorded to Health in the Association’s action plan, it is recommended that a further report be produced based on the various briefings now being arranged.

CHRIS TAPP
TERRY BUTLER
Joint Health Leads

Date: 22 October 2001
Annex: 0
Contact: Nick Goulder - 023 8068 8431, E-mail hiow@eastleigh.gov.uk

Last update: 21/11/2001
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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