NHS Improvements recently published plans on integrating care in order to:

  • improve population health and healthcare;
  • tackle unequal outcomes and access;
  • enhance productivity and value for money;
  • help the NHS to support broader social and economic developments

The consultation talks about an increased collaboration with the VCS sector and devolution of resources to place-based partnerships called integrated care systems (ICSs) to "allow important links to be made to voluntary services that have a big impact on residents' day-to-day health". The voluntary sector is described as a delivery partner.  Further points of note include:

  • creation of a single financial pot for commissioning budgets, primary care budgets and the majority of specialised commissioning spend (2.40)
  • development of a joint shared record joining data across all health and social care settings (2.51)
  • focus on population health outcomes (2.62)
  • under option 2 of the consultation, ICSs would be established as NHS bodies "partly by repurposing CCGs and would take on the commissioning functions of CCGs" (3.18) and "there would be no longer a conflict of interests with the current GP-led CCG model and it would be possible to allocate combined population-level primary care, community health services and specialised services population budgets to ICS" (3.21) 

It is proposed that the changes would become law from the 1st April 2022. The full document is available here.

Community Southwark will be discussing the plans with others involved in Partnership Southwark. Please get in touch with [email protected] if your organisation would like to work more closely as part of Partnership Southwark

Further analysis of the proposal and additional background information on integrated care is under https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/integrated-care

The consultation is closing on Friday, 8th January 2021. If you would like to feedback on the plans please do so via https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/building-a-strong-integrated-care-system/