The white paper, Working together to improve health and social care for all, published in 2021 outlined four key aims for integrated care systems (ICSs).
- Improving outcomes in population health and healthcare.
- Tackling inequalities in outcomes, experience and access.
- Enhancing productivity and value for money.
- Helping the NHS to support broader social and economic development.
The focus for the North Central London Integrated Care System is on providing care and support in ways that most benefits patients and improves the health and wellbeing of everyone living in our boroughs. All the NHS organisations and Councils in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington have been working together as a sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) since 2016.
Our ICS will be responsible for planning health and care services in our five boroughs, using the money we receive from NHS England. In many respects this will be putting onto a statutory footing what we are already doing in North Central London, across and within our five boroughs.
In April 2021 NHS England formally ‘accredited’ North Central London as an Integrated Care System. If the Government legislation passes, our Integrated Care System we will become fully operational as a statutory organisation following the passing of the legislation. The current target date for the formal establishment of ICSs and Integrated Care Boards is 1 July 2022.
Despite the challenges of the past few years, we have built stronger partnerships, relationships, and new ways of working as a system across social, primary and secondary care. The pandemic has made us think and act more like an ICS, aiming to deliver the best and seamless care for our population throughout the pandemic and our collective system recovery. We have already started focusing work on a number of areas.
- A move to single strategic commissioner for health services.
- Ensuring resident voice is heard at all levels of work.
- Establishing five borough-based integrated care partnerships focused on the coordination, integration and development of out of hospital services based on population needs.
- Supporting the development of Primary Care Networks.
- Through our response to and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic we have worked collaboratively with system partners to tackle challenges and find solutions to meet the needs of local people.
On Thursday 28 April 2022, the Health and Care Act 2022 completed the parliamentary process and received Royal Assent. This is a welcome and important step on the journey towards establishing Integrated Care Systems on a statutory footing, as communicated in the NHS 2022/23 priorities and operational planning guidance, and enabling more collaborative ways of working across the health and care system. The result of a successful passage means that Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will be established as statutory NHS bodies on 1 July 2022 and CCGs will cease to exist. Our plans in North Central London have been progressing in line with the parliamentary process and the ICS Design Framework.
Our plans align with all national guidance that has been produced to date, and we will continue to work closely with local partners, residents and colleagues at a national level as we continue to develop and evolve our local health and care system.