‘Creating NHS Local’: The Relationship between English Local Government and the National Health Service


Jon Glasby, University of Birmingham, Health Services Management Centre, Park House, 40 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2RT. Email: J.Glasby@bham.ac.uk


Following recent reforms of both local government and the National Health Service, there is significant emphasis in both services on improving inter-agency collaboration, user involvement and strategic commissioning. In response, this article reviews historical debates about the relationship between local government and health care, before arguing that these two ‘partners’ need each other now more than ever. If local government is to be a ‘place-shaper’, then it needs significant influence over local health services, while the NHS needs to learn from the best of local government if it is to gain sufficient local legitimacy to take the difficult decisions it needs to take. Against this background, the article reviews different options for future joint working, exploring various options for enacting a new relationship between local government and the NHS.