Minister Anne Milton has praised Surrey for its approach to setting up a new board that aims to improve health and wellbeing.
The Public Health Minister congratulated Surrey for the progress made in establishing the forum in preparation for changes to the NHS next April.
Under the reforms public health will transfer to councils and GPs will take control of around £65bn of NHS spending. At the same time, councils responsible for social care will work with GPs through health and wellbeing boards*.
Surrey was among the first local authorities in the country to set up a board in shadow form. It is chaired by the council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Michael Gosling and GP Joe McGilligan.
The Guildford MP and former nurse said: "If everybody's ambitions are to be realised, health and wellbeing boards across the country will absolutely have to make a difference.
"That is why it's very gratifying to see Surrey going strong after only a year – not least because I am a Surrey resident. It is great to see innovative working and the joint chairmanship I think will be a major driver. Everybody on the board should be very proud of what’s been achieved to date."
The minister pointed to working in partnership as being a key part of the progress.
She said: "This is largely down to that local leadership, Michael and Joe, their willingness to take the plans by the scruff of the neck and turn them into a reality, concentrating not on the interests of individual organisations but the success of the community as a whole."
She was speaking at an event organised by Surrey County Council to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the board.