Health in all Local Industrial Strategies?

25 / 06 / 2019

The government published its Industrial Strategy in November 2017, setting out a long-term plan to create an economy that boosts productivity and earning power throughout the UK. Critically, every local economic area in England, along with the devolved administrations, is now developing its own local industrial strategy. This briefing reflects on the emerging importance of health to many of the early draft local industrial strategies, explores the opportunities for the NHS that exist at both system and organisational level and outlines how to engage with and influence the development of these strategies in the coming year.

Key points

  • Every local economic area in England, along with the devolved administrations, is in the process of developing a local industrial strategy, to be agreed with the government by March 2020.
  • These strategies focus on long-term priorities for investment across a range of important areas for the NHS including skills, infrastructure, innovation, and economic and inclusive growth. They will also guide the use of future funding resources and, potentially, local devolution policy asks.
  • While NHS engagement in local industrial strategies has been varied, many feature health-related local priorities and/or offer clear opportunities for closer partnership working. There are significant benefits for the NHS in influencing these strategies.
  • Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), integrated care systems (ICSs) and NHS organisations should seek to engage their mayoral combined authorities (MCAs) or local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) on the design and subsequent delivery of their strategy. Local government, university and industry partners will also play an important role.

The NHS Confederation, through its head of health economic partnerships, is supporting several members to engage with and influence the development of their local strategies. Contact michael. wood@nhsconfed.org to discuss how you can get involved.

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