NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has confirmed the final 13 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will be formally designated from April 1. This brings the total number of ICSs to 42, creating a network that brings together hospital, community and mental health Trusts, GPs, other primary care services, local authorities and other care providers across the whole of England.
The NHS Long Term Plan said Integrated Care Systems would be central to its delivery, by bringing together local organisations to redesign care and improve population health, creating shared leadership and action.
ICSs exist to improve the health of all residents, better support people living with multiple and long term conditions, preventing illness, tackling variation in care and delivering seamless services while getting maximum impact for every pound. They bring together the NHS, local government and other organisations including the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors.
While the geographical boundaries for the individual systems may evolve during 2021/22 to enable co-terminosity between the NHS and local government, the structures will enable health and care organisations to join forces and apply their collective strength to addressing their residents’ biggest health challenges, many exacerbated by COVID-19.
The recent white paper sets out plans to remove current legislative barriers to integration across health and social care bodies, and foster collaboration between NHS and local government organisations.
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Operating Officer for NHS England and Improvement says: “This milestone is a great achievement, which shows the strength of system collaboration across the country. The ICSs have proven their value over the past year and will play an increasingly important role in the restoration, recovery and transformation of services for the benefit of patients and citizens.”
The 13 new ICS areas are:
• Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
• Mid and South Essex
• The Black Country and West Birmingham
• Herefordshire and Worcestershire
• Coventry and Warwickshire
• Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
• Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
• Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
• Cheshire and Merseyside
• Kent and Medway