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Publication details

Perkins, N. & Hunter, D.J. (2014). Health and Wellbeing Boards: a new dawn for public health partnerships? Journal of Integrated Care 22(5/6): 220-229.

Author(s) from Durham


Purpose – This article considers the effectiveness of partnership working in public health and draws on a systematic review of public health partnerships and original research conducted by the authors. It then considers in the light of research evidence whether the recently established Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) under the 2012 Health and Social Care Act will help agencies to work together more effectively to improve population health or will go the way of previous initiatives and fall short of their original promise.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a systematic literature review conducted by the authors and empirical research focusing upon the ability of public health partnerships to reduce health inequalities and improve population health outcomes. It also draws on recent studies evaluating HWBs.
Findings – The paper finds that, hitherto, public health partnerships have had limited impact on improving population health and reducing health inequalities and that there is a danger that HWBs will follow the same path dependent manner of previous partnership initiatives with limited impact in improving population health outcomes and reducing health inequalities.
Originality/value – The paper draws on a comprehensive research study of the effectiveness of public health partnerships on improving health outcomes and a systematic literature review, in addition to recent research evaluating HWBs to inform the discussion on their future prospects in regard to partnership working in public health.