19 March 2021
NHS England has today announced the roll out of 13 Integrated Care Systems (ICS) nationally, with effect from 1 April 2021. This represents a major milestone in the NHS Long Term Plan.
As part of this, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin will become an ICS from 1 April 2021, providing a joined up approach to planning and providing local health and care services across the county. This will replace the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).
Integrated care systems bring together hospitals, community and mental health trusts, GPs and other primary care services with local authorities and other care providers across the whole area. This approach enables more effective use of resources, leading to higher quality, more efficient and effective services.
The creation of the ICS is particularly important in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen a huge emphasis on partnership working. The establishment of the ICS will help us to build on the successes we have already achieved and continue with to provide flexible, connected solutions.
Through the ICS Shadow Board, independently chaired by Sir Neil McKay, the system will be publicly held to account for better prevention and outcomes for people in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin; making sure that wherever possible, care is provided as close to people’s homes and local communities as possible.
Sir Neil said: “This is a really important milestone in our journey to provide a collective approach to health and care services across the county of Shropshire. It is about improving the health of local people, ensuring the patient remains at the heart of the services we provide. It will also support our journey to address local health inequalities and provide more consistent solutions, tailored to local needs.
“The ICS will continue work to integrate care across different organisations and settings, joining up hospital and community-based services, physical and mental health, and health and social care. This integrated approach brings real benefits to patients.”
Mark Brandreth, Shadow ICS Executive Lead, said: “We have made great progress developing our relationships and working together over the last few years. As well as our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have some great local examples such as the Multidisciplinary Care Home Team in Telford & Wrekin which includes care home staff working closely with primary care colleagues to deliver enhanced support, utilising digital technologies to enable remote consultations. In Shropshire, Public Health, the Voluntary and Community Sector and Primary Care have been working collaboratively on a social prescribing model that supports people in the community where they live. We want to continue to embed and accelerate this joint working through our ICS development plan.”
Dr Jane Povey, Clinical lead for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS said: “I am very excited that, as an Integrated Care System, clinical and care professionals will be able to work with people in our community to enable health and care services to better meet their needs. We will focus on preventing ill health, the provision of responsive and joined up health and care, and reducing health inequalities”
The Government has set out plans for a parliamentary Bill to put ICSs on a statutory footing, and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) will give all systems the support they need as legislation takes effect.
The Bill will build on recommendations from NHSEI to remove current legislative barriers to integration across health and social care bodies, and foster collaboration between NHS and local government organisations. This reflects the thousands of views received from every part of the health and care system and the public as part of recent engagement on what local leaders need.
ICSs, and formerly Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, have worked for the last several years to break down barriers between organisations and improve care.