From April Surrey Heartlands emerges from its shadow year of health and social care devolution management and gets properly into the driving seat.

At the heart of our Devolution agreement are two things:

  • Greater local control of health and care commissioning decisions;
  • Aligning and bringing together commissioning responsibilities of the NHS and local government

We believe this will enable us to design and secure better services and outcomes for our population.

Since signing the devolution agreement in June 2017 we’ve been working with partners to implement new governance arrangements to enable us to plan and make decisions together across health and social care – getting this right has also helped us to secure access to NHS transformation funding totalling £15m this financial year. We continue to work with NHS England to refine the 2018/19 ‘asks’ – with a focus on the delegation of responsibilities regarding some aspects of primary care , some specialised services and some ‘section 7a’ public health functions.

Specific progress includes:

  • additional external capacity and expertise being sought to support the specialised commissioning case for change development;
  • a workshop has been arranged on 12 February to discuss the commissioning of dental services;
  • an immunisations case for change is being co-developed between leads from the County Council and from NHS England/Public Health England.

Our integrated commissioning Joint Committee has just held an all-day development workshop facilitated by the King’s Fund. In addition, a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been developed by Health Education England colleagues to describe how we will work differently and at its last meeting the Transformation Board discussed a ‘devolved’ approach to delivering the functions of the KSS Academic Health Science Network for Surrey Heartlands.