6 What are Localities?
6.1 A locality is defined in the Act as a smaller area within the borders of an Integration Authority. The purpose of creating localities is not to draw lines on a map. Their purpose is to provide an organisational mechanism for local leadership of service planning, to be fed upwards into the Integration Authority's strategic commissioning plan - localities must have real influence on how resources are spent in their area.
6.2 Each Integration Authority is required to define and agree the area of each of its localities in consultation with local professionals and communities. Locality areas should relate to natural communities and take account of clusters of GP practices, which may in turn need to be realigned to fit with other services. The size of localities will vary, but will need to feel "right" to people living and working in the area: large enough to offer sufficient scope for service improvement, but small enough to feel local and "real".
6.3 In this guidance, when we refer to localities, we are referring to the group of people in these areas who must play an active role in service planning for the local population, in order to improve outcomes.
6.4 Localities must:
a) Support the principles that underpin collaborative working to ensure a strong vision for service delivery is achieved. Robust communication and engagement methods will be required to assure the effectiveness of locality arrangements.
b) Support GPs to play a central role in providing and co-ordinating care to local communities, and, by working more closely with a range of others - including the wider primary care team, secondary care and social care colleagues, and third sector providers - to help improve outcomes for local people.
c) Support a proactive approach to capacity building in communities, by forging the connections necessary for participation, and help to foster better integrated working between primary and secondary care.