Readers may be more familiar with the term Accountable Care Organisation contract or ACO contract but this has now been rebranded to the Integrated Care Provider contract or ICP contract underpinning a move to more integrated care.
NHS England’s consultation was launched following two High Court judicial reviews which found in favour of NHS England – and since then, the Court of Appeal has granted permission to campaign group, 999 Call for the NHS, in its challenge to the proposed payment mechanism in the NHS ACO (as it was then called) contract – permission was granted on all of the seven grounds argued by the group’s legal team. We now await the outcome of the appeal hearing.
More about NHS England’s consultation: what does it cover ?
The consultation overview says it "provides more detail about how the proposed ICP Contract would underpin integration between services, how it differs from existing NHS contracts, and how ICPs fit into the broader commissioning system." The intention is to end the fragmented way health and care services are currently delivered.
The consultation package includes the following documents:
- the draft ICP contract
- explanatory notes to the draft ICP contract
- draft directions
- draft template GP Integration Agreement
- GP integration agreement frequently asked questions
- draft equality and health inequalities analysis
- CCG roles where ICPs are established
- an overview of integrated budgets
- incentives framework for ICPs
You can read the consultation documents here.
The guidance your CCGs will be following in assessing your ICP
There are a number of health economies around the country (including some of the existing 10 – soon to be 14 - ICSs) who are hoping to enter into the new ICP contract. It is recognised that commissioning an ICP could have implications for CCGs such as a possible shift in the activities of commissioners – and providers, but noted that this would not (could not) change the CCGs’ statutory functions. Embryonic ICPs might find the accompanying guidance note on CCG roles where ICPs are established helpful to stimulate debate and to provide an insight into the legal, policy and governance framework within which commissioners will be evaluating their proposals.