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Nov 2018

Discharging democratic accountability: The role of strategy and performance information in local authority Health and Wellbeing Boards

The UK Health and Social Care Act (2012) required the creation of Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) to provide strategic leadership for health outcomes for localities across England. It was suggested that HWBs would enhance democratic accountability and provide a forum for key leaders to come together from across the health and social care systems.

This research explores the extent to which HWBs have, or have not, enhanced democratic accountability through the use of strategic planning and performance information. The study is informed by a total of 39 interviews with experts and members of two HWBs. The findings provide deeper insights into how these new accountability and partnership working arrangements have been enacted in practice and increase awareness of the challenges faced in determining a joint health and wellbeing strategy and measuring progress towards improved health outcomes and reduced health inequalities.

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Discharging democratic accountability: The role of strategy and performance information in local authority Health and Wellbeing Boards