He will work with David Behan’s Directorate to develop a new early implementer network to help councils and their partners, particularly GP consortia, to share learning and experiences about the effective development of health and wellbeing boards.
Local authorities are working with DH to lay the foundations for the network, which will support councils and partners to prepare for their strengthened leadership roles in improving the health and care of people in their communities.
The network will be driven by councils and their NHS partners, and will focus on sharing the lessons about what works, working together to tackle challenges and make the right improvements for local communities.
Councils and their NHS partners see this as an important opportunity to improve how services are co-ordinated across the NHS and local government, for example to support older people to stay healthy and independent, and for joint action to tackle long-term issues that impact on people’s health, such as obesity.
John’s brief will be to build on the momentum and enthusiasm for the new arrangements in local areas, supporting the rapid development of effective health and wellbeing boards and maximising the impact of local efforts.
John will work closely with councils and their NHS partners, as well as the Local Government Group, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, ADASS, ADCS and strategic health authorities. With his leadership, the network will explore and share the challenges, opportunities and solutions for local government and their NHS partners through the development of health and wellbeing boards. It will bring together thinking on how councils and the NHS can work together and with communities across the health and care agenda, including the local public health system, GP consortia and local HealthWatch.
John said: ‘I am delighted to be leading the national implementation of health and wellbeing boards. A strong partnership between the NHS and local government is essential if we are to deliver further improvements in health care, social care and public health, and ensure the very best use of our combined resources. In my current role in West Sussex we have forged excellent relationships leading to real benefits for local people, and I look forward to using that experience in my new role.’
John has held top roles in a number of NHS organisations over the past 25 years and, since 2005, he has been chief executive of two primary care trusts, firstly in Hampshire and currently with NHS West Sussex.