Terms of Reference for the inquiry are:

1.    To gain an understanding of the structure and functions of the Public Services Boards

2.    To explore the effectiveness of PSBs -  Resourcing and capacity

3.    To gather evidence of issues or barriers that may impact on effective working, and examples of good practice and innovation.


1.            To gain an understanding of the structure and functions of the Public Services Boards

The Flintshire Public Services Board migrated from the former Local Services Board with few adjustments given that there was already a good partnership working relationship.  New (statutory) members were invited such as Natural Resources Wales and new Terms of Reference were endorsed.  These are attached.  In particular they include the five principal roles of the PSB as follows:

Ÿ    To discharge the duties of a public services board including producing and working to a Local Well-being Plan;

Ÿ    To identify and prioritise the contemporary challenges where collective leadership and problem-solving is called for, and common issues as both providers or services and as employers where collective action is called for;

Ÿ    To ensure consistent and effective governance and performance across the strategic partnership which support the Public Services Board;

Ÿ    To promoting collaboration in the design and provision of local public services and to make best economic use of local partners’ resources in the fulfilment of common aims and priorities; and

Ÿ    To promote and maintain effective and trusting partnership relationships amongst local public service leaders in support of the above roles.


The membership of the Board is attached as part of the Terms of Reference, which will be reviewed at the next AGM in July.  This will include reference to the current 2 Vice Chairs – Angela Tinkler (Public Health Wales) and Rob Smith (Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board).  The Board also now has a representative member from the Town and Community Councils in Flintshire.

The Board has always worked on a basis of parity regardless of whether they are statutory members or an invited participant/member.


The Board meets quarterly, rotating the venues across the different partner and ‘project’ members.  This gives the opportunity to invite creative discussion about a particular issue or project, especially when another invited partner e.g. Care and Repair provide an overview of how we can work together in partnership.


2.         To explore the effectiveness of PSBs -  Resourcing and capacity

The Board works effectively; there is trust and understanding between and across Board members.  Members of the Board have taken an active role in leading on the Well-being priority work streams; despite some partners taking on multi roles across the four PSBs in North Wales, and indeed nationally across the nineteen boards (e.g. Natural Resources Wales).

The PSB members commit time as their main contribution to capacity and resources and have been committed to their roles in supporting the PSB.


3.         To gather evidence of issues or barriers that may impact on effective working, and examples of good practice and innovation.

Issues and barriers:

-       Despite the commitment from partners, there is an over-reliance on the Council for agenda planning, planning arrangements and monitoring

-       Some partners, such as Natural Resources Wales, have found being committed to all 19 boards across the country a burden that creates the need for additional resourcing

-       Funding arrangements to support initiatives are not forthcoming from partners, even if grants have been awarded which would support a local well-being priority

-       Different systems for monitoring and reporting create un-necessary and inefficient use of time and resources for the Council in collating and co-ordinating updates and reports.  A common system (CAMMS) is being explored in Flintshire for all partners to use

-       Well-meaning and constructive advice from all Commissioners and interested parties has been provided, but national priorities may not be localised; everybody else’s priorities may not be the local ones.  This takes up time and resource in responding diplomatically

-       More analysis on all Well-being plans, either from the Future Generations Commissioner or Welsh Government would provide national and regional analysis to enable the PSBs to identify common issues and possibly common/shared solutions.




Good practice and innovation:

-       Partners have worked well together on shared priorities such as the establishment of an Early Help Hub.  The development of the Flintshire Early Help Hub provides support and advice for families who are on the ‘edge’ of being vulnerable. This was formally launched by Sally Holland, the Children's Commissioner on the 8th June, who described the initiative as the leading such approach in the Principality.

-       Sharing of venues for meetings has endeared a sense of joint responsibility

-       Good practice presentations have stimulated ideas and created discussion for cross sector working e.g. PSB public sector employers leading on the health of the workforce

-       Partners have been willing and active in providing information and presentations/discussion workshops with local elected members

-       Regional working to work together on common issues has started, but needs further development

-       Staff across public services have been involved in co-designing the action plan and the work required for delivery, The Inspiring Resilient Communities theme has worked with staff across public services who lead work in communities through a series of workshops to co-design the approach to this priority. This has developed with the group testing and designing with Glyndwr University a new accredited leadership programme that will enable staff to change the way we work in local communities. This will place emphasis on growing capacity and skills within communities rather than delivering projects and will develop the use of change management and public narrative skills. This innovative pilot is being funded at a regional level with consideration being given to use across the region.

-       Work is taking place jointly between the groups leading work on priorities to ensure major actions that deliver against more than one priority can have maximum affect. e.g. Work with BCUHB on developing a North Wales model for social prescribing delivers health and community resilience outcomes, the way this works is being shaped by both groups to enable an improvement in an individual’s health and supports the individual to know how to find local activities to support health improvement.

-       The Heath and Independent Living work stream has been a vibrant and dynamic forum which has enabled partners in Flintshire to prioritise and add creative energy to ensure that key sector-leading projects develop at pace.

-       Adult social care, has been the ground-breaking scheme to provide a public sector led direct provision of heath and care provision in South Flintshire, incorporating Discharge to Assess /Intermediate Care and Care Home beds. This PSB led project will directly improve the hospital discharge process at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital and strengthen the highly pressurised local care sector market in Flintshire.