Last week, the NHF published its final version of its new Code of Governance and made some important changes from the previous draft that will impact on those housing associations looking to adopt it.
To assist with practical partnerships a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) has been published “to support joint action on improving health through the home”. A copy of the MoU can be found here. The MoU has been signed by:
- NHS England;
- Public Health England;
- The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA);
- The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG);
- The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH); and
- The National Housing Federation (NHF)
A number of other professional bodies have signed up to the MoU and all those involved will be responsible for rolling out and participating in the “2014/15 Action Plan”. The Action Plan is set out in the Appendix to the MoU and includes the NHF producing, by February 2015, a guidance/advice note on how local systems can use NHS assets and lever in funding to best effect for housing related schemes.
In brief the MoU and the organisations which have signed it aim to:
- Establish and support national and local dialogue, information exchange and decision-making across government, health, social care and housing sectors;
- Co-ordinate health, social care, and housing policy;
- Enable improved collaboration and integration of healthcare and housing in the planning, commissioning and delivery of homes and services;
- Promote the housing sector contribution to: addressing the wider determinants of health; health equity; improvements to patient experience and outcomes’ ‘making every contact count’; and safeguarding; and
- Develop the workforce across sectors so that they are confident and skilled in understanding the relationship between where people live and their health and wellbeing and are able to identify suitable solutions to improve outcomes.
The partners to the MoU will nominate a senior representative to meet quarterly. This will be arranged through the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Housing Policy Network. The Network will review progress annually and agree if changes are required to the MoU or the accompanying action plan.
This MoU will hopefully be another tool that housing providers can (where they want to) increase their influence and impact in the health arena, something many organisations have been seeking to achieve for a number of years.
For more information
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