Surrey County Council plans for improving health and wellbeing that were praised by a minister were outlined at a major national event.
Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Michael Gosling set out Surrey’s approach to taking a bigger role in health at the Local Government Association’s annual conference.
Changes being introduced next April will see councils taking over public health and working with doctors, who are being put in charge of buying in NHS services, through health and wellbeing boards.
Earlier this month Public Health Minister Anne Milton praised Surrey for its progress after the council was among the first in the country to set up a board in shadow form more than a year ago.
Mr Gosling told New Local Government Network’s Healthy Places: Councils Leading on Public Health event the key to success was working closely with GPs from the start.
He said: “We have made giant strides in Surrey to be totally ready to take responsibility for improving the health of local people and it is our joint approach with GPs that is really making this unique.
“Ever since our board was launched more than a year ago we’ve been working hard to strengthen those relationships between health and social care for the benefit of communities.”
Chaired by Mr Gosling, who also spoke at a parliamentary event last month about helping older people stay independent, and Redhill GP Joe McGilligan, Surrey’s board brings together councillors, doctors, health and care officials and representatives of patients and the public.