Next steps on integrated care

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s latest publication, Integrating Care – The next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England sets out their thinking about the integration of care and the implications for legislation and NHS structures.

It contains two options for ‘enshrining’ Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in legislation:

  • Option one: a statutory committee model with an Accountable Officer that binds together current statutory organisations.
  • Option two: a statutory corporate NHS body model that additionally brings Clinical Commissioning Group statutory functions into the ICS.

Both options would drive increased system collaboration in the immediate term, but option two would place ICSs on a statutory footing and provide greater long-term clarity in terms of transparency and accountability, whereas option one would slot into the existing legal framework. But the devil will be in the detail.

It is perhaps worth noting that any changes to legislation are some way off – April 2022 at the earliest and will be subject to Parliamentary decision, says the document.

Have your say by Friday 8 January

NHS England and NHS Improvement are keen to hear from all interested individuals and organisations on the proposed legislative options – and you can submit your responses via this online survey.

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