By London South Bank University (2017)
This report brings to the fore the challenge of NHS and Local Government collaboration. With local government democratically accountable to its local population, working to meet local needs; and with the NHS accountable through NHS England and NHS Improvement; planning together over a wider footprint in terms of population, with completely different accountabilities, means the starting point for STP-level collective decision-making and planning is a challenge. Layer on top of this the fact that the STP process is an NHS policy (not provided in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government), which is being translated by NHS leaders in STP footprints as a policy requirement for collective working and joint decisions with local government, where some of these decisions are likely to be challenged by local populations (and where local government clearly has to consult and represent local people’s views), and you have the recipe for a poor starting place for collaboration. Finally the lack of clarity about the relationship between populations (local and STP footprint) makes this a messy process without clear boundaries.