This short guide summarises some of the need-to-know structural and operational features of local government and presents advice from GPs, NHS managers and local councillors on the important cultural stumbling blocks that often occur when working across the NHS-local government divide.
- Councils and councillors work very differently to GPs and the NHS, but their work is integral to health and health services.
- Differences in the purpose, backgrounds, culture and structure of local government can present barriers or benefits to joint working, depending on how they are approached.
- Understanding and awareness are the most important first steps for GP commissioners wanting to foster strong, productive relationships with local government.
This document was developed by a health and wellbeing board learning set and supported by the Department of Health, the NHS Confederation, the Local Government Association and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.