Consultation and stakeholder engagement
Public consultation, engagement and stakeholder engagement are at the heart of the planning process – whether during the development of local plans, or when considering planning applications. They are also at the heart of health reforms.
There are various statutory obligations on both local planning authorities and health organisations to consult, for example, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 places a responsibility on the health and wellbeing boards to involve the public in the planning of commissioning arrangements and changes to services, and established both national and local HealthWatch bodies.
Local HealthWatch bodies have a responsibility to:
- have a specific focus on the need to be representative of diverse communities
- actively engage communities in a dialogue about their health and social care needs
- ensure that services act upon feedback and can demonstrate that they have done so
The Localism Act 2011 also gives significant new rights direct to communities and individuals, with the intention of making it easier for them to get things done and achieve their ambitions for the place where they live.
Many stakeholders have a role in health improvement, and collaboration and joint working across a variety of organisations and professions is essential if improved health outcomes and a reduction in health inequalities is to be achieved.
“Local planning authorities should work with public health leads and health organisations to understand and take account of the health status and needs of the local population (such as for sports, recreation and places of worship), including expected future changes, and any information about relevant barriers to improving health and well-being.”
(National Planning Policy Framework, March 2012)
Much of HUDU’s work is about facilitating collaboration, partnership and engagement, working with key stakeholders with an interest in health and planning to use the planning system to its fullest in contributing to the goal of healthier communities.
Whether in developing plans and strategies, or considering the health impacts of particular development proposals, we can support you in a number of ways – from brainstorming sessions and facilitated workshops to more structured support on complex issues.