‘Acid test’ for joint working with developers
The Chief Executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, Andy Yacoub, has said the way in which building developers respond to our system’s approach to integrated working will be an ‘acid test’.
Mr Yacoub said: “Developers have historically benefitted financially because services are often viewed as being disconnected, solely focusing on their own priorities, rather than working together as a system.
If leaders want to capitalise on new developments to ensure health and social services are closely involved in discussions, they need to demonstrate effective system working.”
Developers are required to make contributions towards infrastructure costs when carrying out developments – a requirement known as a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Any new build house, flat or an extension of more than 100 square metres gross internal floor space is likely to incur a CIL charge (where a council has introduced the CIL).
The money raised by the CIL charge is used to fund a wide range of local infrastructure costs such as flood defences, schools, hospitals and other health and social care facilities, parks, green spaces and leisure centres.
Mr Yacoub added: “CILs have traditionally been focused on highways, and little has been spent on for example health, such as GP practices. Developers have retained intended money simply because of indecision and lapses in agreed timescales.”
Earlier this year, Suffolk and North East Essex ICS held an event with developers, looking to build new homes within the system’s footprint. They discussed the use of contributions made as a result of development sites.
The event was attended by colleagues from NHS England, NHS Improvement, Police, Fire Service and local authorities and discussed how the need could better be identified through collaborative working.
In addition delegates looked at innovation in how the contributions could be used, and Healthy Urban Development Unit shared some of the successes they have achieved in London.
Amanda Lyes, the ICS’s Senior Responsible Officer for Estates, said: “We have a group that maximises every opportunity to work with building developers to make sure health and social care receive contributions from developers.
“We have started some amazing work and are responding to building development applications and drawing relevant funding which will be spent on frontline services.”