The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have pledged to formally work together to encourage a better integration of health and social care.
A concordat signed between the two organisations commits them to producing joint annual plans setting out how they will work together to ensure joined-up, high-quality health, social care and safeguarding service and to meet regularly to assess progress and set future priorities.
The agreement hopes to encourage health and social care leaders to work together, as well as ensuring access for staff across the sector to specialist training courses and best practice.
"The NHS and local government have long shared a determination to make health and social care truly joined up for every individual. The structural changes in the NHS present us with a fantastic opportunity to make it happen, and this formal agreement between the NHS CB and the LGA recognises that," said Professor Malcolm Grant, chair of the NHS CB.
Sir Merrick Cockell, chair of the LGA, said while primary care and hospital services are "vital" to the health and wellbeing of our communities, wider factors such as housing, leisure and transport are "just as important to ensuring people live long, healthy, happy lives".
"Local government and the NHS have worked increasingly closely in recent years, particularly over public health and social care services, so we know that when we form effective partnerships we become much more than the sum of our parts," he said.
"This Concordat aims to build on those existing local partnership arrangements, and gives us the basis for developing even closer, more effective working at both a national and local level in future."