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Health and Wellbeing Board

The government's vision for the creation of Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) is that the boards will present an opportunity to join up local services, create new partnerships with general practitioners (GPs) and deliver greater democratic accountability.

Local authorities were given discretion in setting up boards to ensure they reflect local needs, which means that many different approaches emerged. The biggest challenge is for the board to deliver strong, credible and shared leadership across local organisational boundaries.

These pages have been designed to provide information about the Dorset HWB and its function, plus useful links to resources.

The purpose of the Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board and the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS)

The Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy focuses on three key priorities: 

  • reducing inequalities
  • promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing ill health
  • working better together to deliver prevention and early intervention at scale, high quality care and better value

The HWB is the integrated governing board through which senior representatives of key partner organisations will:

  • give strategic leadership and direction through the agreement of outcomes for health and wellbeing across Dorset, based on a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment - this will enable recommendations to be made for prioritising investment across organisations to deliver these outcomes through the publication of the Dorset Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • drive change through an outcome based approach
  • be accountable and responsible for better outcomes for people's health and wellbeing in Dorset by facilitating collaboration and promoting integrated commissioning to support the delivery of cost effective services

Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board - Terms of Reference and Constitution 

The Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy is closely linked to the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Dorset, which has been led by the NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group. Our Dorset sets out the pan-Dorset vision for local health and care, and the role for the Health and Wellbeing Boards will be to lead on efforts to close the health and wellbeing gap, with 'prevention at scale' at the heart of this.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA)

Local authorities and clinical commissioning groups have equal and joint duties to prepare JSNAs/PNAs and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (which must be informed by the JSNA) through their Health and Wellbeing Boards.

The work programme for the Dorset JSNA is co-ordinated via a Commissioning and Intelligence Group - a pan-Dorset group which is chaired by Public Health Dorset. Data from the JSNA can be found on the Public Health Dorset website

The PNA is a statutory requirement in accordance with the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 and it is a statement of the needs of the population of an area in relation to pharmaceutical services.

The Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board and the Bournemouth and Poole Health and Wellbeing Board hold the statutory responsibility for the PNA, and they agreed a single  PNA for the whole of Dorset.


The HWB is made up of people from a range of organisations, and includes council officers and elected members, NHS officers, local GPs from the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and representatives from the police, the fire and rescue service and the voluntary sector.


Formal HWB meetings are held at least four times a year. The meetings are open to the public and press.

Agendas and papers 

Agenda items are agreed via a forward plan which is discussed at each HWB meeting. In line with other committees of the council, agendas are published and dispatched at least eight clear days before the meeting. The agendas and papers can be found online at Dorset Council Committee - Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board, including the forward plan which is updated prior to each board meeting.

Links with partners

One of the key purposes of the HWB is to bring together a range of agencies and individuals to work collectively to support health and wellbeing. 

The HWB has also established links with a range of partner organisations and bodies, to work collectively on our key aims.  These include:

The publication of  Dorset Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People's Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health illustrates one of the ways in which the HWB has supported multi-agency working. The plan was produced jointly by the Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health Dorset and the two local authorities (Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council).

This Transformation Plan outlines Dorset's approach to meet the themes and recommendations in "Future in Mind: Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people's mental health" (DH and NHS England, 2015) and the "Access and Waiting Time Standard for Children and Young People with an Eating Disorder" (NHS England, 2015) over the next five years.

Links and resources 

The following information provides some useful background resources and links to key partners. 

Public Health Dorset and the Dorset Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Public Health Dorset

Public Health Dorset: Understanding Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Guidance - JSNAs and JHSW statutory guidance

The Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group


Healthwatch Dorset

Health Scrutiny

Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee

Health inequalities

Fair Society Healthy Lives - the Marmot review

The King's Fund - Inequalities in life expectancy

Local Government Association (LGA) - Health and Wellbeing systems

The LGA offers support to health and wellbeing boards and publishes a wide  range of useful resources on their website

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