Sussex Health and Care Assembly (Sussex Integrated Care Partnership)

Terms of Reference



1.    The Sussex Health and Care Assembly (the Assembly) is a formal partnership forum jointly established by NHS Sussex, Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council (the three Local Authorities) in accordance with the Constitutions of each body. The Assembly is the Integrated Care Partnership for Sussex, established under the Health and Care Act 2022 and these Terms of Reference have been agreed by each of these bodies.


2.    The purpose of the Assembly is to support and promote greater integration and collaboration across health and social care at a strategic, Sussex-wide level.  It will build upon the local Health and Wellbeing Strategies and co-ordinate the strategic direction for meeting the broader health, public health and social care needs of the population of Sussex to settle an Integrated Care Strategy for Sussex. It will undertake any other activities agreed by NHS Sussex and the three Local Authorities to help address the wider determinants of health and wellbeing and greater health equality at a strategic level.  Its work will build upon and be informed by work at place level in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex, including through the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessments.



The Assembly will:

3.    Develop, approve and publish an Integrated Care Strategy for the whole population of Sussex, using best available evidence and data, covering health and social care and addressing the wider determinants of health and wellbeing.  This will be built from local assessments of needs and assets identified at place level, based on Joint Strategic Needs Assessments.

4.    Complement existing governance arrangements including Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) and other place-based partnerships, and ensure governance and decision-making are proportionate, support subsidiarity and avoid duplication across the Sussex Health and Care System.

5.    Promote and enhance integrated approaches, partnership working and collaboration within the Sussex health and care system, where these can improve planning, outcomes and service delivery.

6.    Complement place-based working and partnerships, developing relationships on a pan-Sussex basis.

7.    Highlight where coordination is needed on health and care issues and, through the development, promotion and oversight of the Integrated Care Strategy, challenge partners to deliver the action required. This includes, but is not limited to:

·              helping people live more independent, healthier lives for longer;

·              taking a holistic view of people’s interactions with services across the system and the different pathways within it;

·              addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing outcomes, experiences and access to health services;

·              improving the wider social determinants that drive these inequalities, including employment, housing, education, environment, and reducing offending;

·              improving the life chances and health outcomes of babies, children and young people;

·              improving people’s overall wellbeing and preventing ill-health.


8.    In preparing the Integrated Care Strategy:

·         consider the extent to which the needs could be met more effectively by the making of arrangements under section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 (rather than in any other way);

·         have regard to—

(a) the mandate published by the Secretary of State under section 13A of the National Health Service Act 2006, and

(b) any guidance issued by the Secretary of State;

·         involve the Local Healthwatch organisations for Sussex and involve the people who live or work in Sussex; and

·         may include a statement of its views on how arrangements for the provision of health-related services in the area could be more closely integrated with arrangements for the provision of health services and social care services.


9.    Each time the Assembly receives an assessment of relevant needs it will:

(a) consider whether the current Integrated Care Strategy should be revised, and

(b) if so, prepare a revised Integrated Care Strategy.


10.Report to NHS Sussex and the Health and Wellbeing Board of each of the three Local Authorities after each meeting of the Assembly, highlighting any issues that require action. 


11.As set out in the Health and Care Act 2022, the core membership of the Assembly (as the Integrated Care Partnership) is NHS Sussex and the three local authorities.  The composed Assembly may then appoint others. The three Local Authorities and NHS Sussex will each appoint their members to the Assembly in accordance with their respective Constitutions.  Members are bound by the Standing Orders and Codes of Conduct of their respective appointing bodies, including those relating to equalities, confidentiality and information governance.

12.The Assembly will consist of the following members representing the four statutory partners:

NHS Sussex [the Integrated Care Board] (3)

·              Chair, NHS Sussex

·              CEO, NHS Sussex

·              Chief Delivery Officer, NHS Sussex


Brighton & Hove City Council (1)

·              Health and Wellbeing Board Chair (or their nominated substitute)


East Sussex County Council (1)

·              Health and Wellbeing Board Chair (or their nominated substitute)


West Sussex County Council (1)

·              Health and Wellbeing Board Chair (or their nominated substitute)


One officer from each of the local authorities will also be permitted to attend to contribute towards the work of the Assembly and/or assist and advise the Health and Wellbeing Board Chairs as appropriate. 

In addition to the membership from the statutory partners, the following members will also be appointed to support the work of the Assembly:-


·         3 x Place Executive Members, one from each place in Sussex

·         3 x Place Clinical Members, one from each place in Sussex

·         3 x Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise Members, one from each place in Sussex

·         3 x Independent Health and Social Care Champion Members, one from each Healthwatch in Sussex

·         3 x University Members, comprising the three Vice Chancellors of the University of Brighton, the University of Chichester, and the University of Sussex respectively

·         3 x Specialist Members representing the further education, housing and local enterprise sectors respectively.


The Assembly will appoint further members or observers as it considers appropriate in line with its agreed work programme.





13.The Assembly will appoint its chair at its first meeting and will agree the term of office for the Chair. Assembly members may appoint a Vice Chair from amongst their membership. The Chair will be responsible for agreeing the agenda and draft minutes, and ensuring matters discussed meet the objectives as set out in the Terms of Reference.  

Meeting proceedings and quorum

14.The Assembly will meet formally, in public, at least twice per year, unless the Assembly resolves to meet in private in accordance with reasons permitted by the legislation relevant to the meetings of public bodies. Additional meetings may take place as required, with the agreement of the Chair.

15.Meetings held in person will be at venues providing accessibility to the public. Members of the Assembly may attend remotely with the agreement of the Chair. Any formal public meetings held entirely virtually will be webcast to provide openness and transparency to the public.

16.The Assembly is quorate when there are four members of the Assembly present including at least one representative from NHS Sussex and each of the three Local Authorities.  If the quorum has not been reached, the meeting may proceed if those attending agree, but no decisions may be taken. Members attending meetings virtually will be counted towards the quorum.

17.In any circumstance where a decision is required the Chair shall strive to ensure a consensus is achieved.  If a vote has to be taken, in the event of an equality of votes, the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.  Each core (NHS Sussex and local authority) member of the Assembly will be entitled to a single vote. The voting rights of any other members appointed by the Assembly will be determined by the Assembly.


18.Where a member cannot attend a meeting of the Assembly, they may send a nominated substitute who will have equivalent voting rights.


19.Where relevant to its responsibilities, the Assembly may engage and consult with partner organisations to promote strategic integration and collaboration across the health and social care sector in Sussex. This should not duplicate existing engagement/consultation arrangements, such as carried out at place level by Health and Wellbeing Boards. Key consultees of the Assembly will include:

·              Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex

·              Patient Forums for each area of Sussex

·              Place-based partnerships

·              Higher and Further Education representatives

·              Housing representatives

·              Local Enterprise representatives

·              Others TBC.


Administration and access to agenda and reports

20.NHS Sussex will provide secretariat support to the Assembly.

21.Copies of the agenda and reports for meetings of the Assembly will be provided to Members (either via e-mail or in paper copy) and published on the NHS Sussex website (for public access) at least five clear working days before the meeting.    Assembly papers will be available online for a period of six years, after which time they will be archived.

22.Minutes of meetings shall be recorded by the secretary and submitted in draft form to the NHS Sussex Board, and the Health and Wellbeing Board of each of the three Local Authorities. The draft minutes will also be published on the NHS Sussex website once approved by the Chair. Minutes will be subject to final agreement by the Assembly.

23.The secretary will support the Chair of each Health and Wellbeing Board to prepare and deliver reports to the three Local Authorities’ Health and Wellbeing Boards and the NHS Sussex Chair to deliver reports to the NHS Sussex Board.

Terms of Reference publication and review

24.These Terms of Reference will be published on the websites of NHS Sussex and the three Local Authorities.

25.As a new partnership forum, it will be important to ensure there is a robust review process for the Assembly.  Its Terms of Reference will be reviewed by Assembly six months after its first formal meeting and after that on at least an annual basis. Any proposed changes will require the approval of NHS Sussex and the each of the three Local Authorities.


Document Control

Document Reference





Sussex Health and Care Assembly

Issued on

TBC 2022

To be reviewed by 

TBC 2023


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