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Implementation of Statutory Integrated Care Systems

Volume 706: debated on Wednesday 5 January 2022

Since 2018, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) have been developing more integrated ways of working, bringing together NHS organisations and partners from local government and beyond to plan and provide services around residents’ needs as locally as possible. This integrated approach to person-centred care brings together actors in health and social care, alongside local and voluntary partners, to support people to retain their independence, health and wellbeing for longer.

The Health and Care Bill supports the move towards integration by providing measures to put integrated care systems on a statutory footing through the establishment of Integrated Care Boards and Integrated Care Partnerships. The Bill is currently being considered by Parliament and will soon be subject to line-by-line scrutiny at Committee Stage in the House of Lords. It is essential that Parliament is given sufficient time to properly consider the Bill.

Therefore, subject to the passage of the Bill, NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care have continued to plan for the establishment of the proposed Integrated Care Boards. This includes a joint decision to set a target date for the introduction of statutory Integrated Care Systems in July 2022.

Joint working arrangements have been in place at system level for some time and significant steps have already been taken in preparing for the introduction of statutory Integrated Care Boards, if and when the Bill is enacted. This progress towards the proposed statutory Integrated Care Systems will continue in the new year. The target date for establishment of Integrated Care Boards in July 2022—which, as indicated earlier, is subject to the successful passage of the Bill—will provide greater certainty to systems and staff that are preparing for statutory Integrated Care Systems. NHS England and Improvement will of course continue to support systems with preparing for the proposed statutory Integrated Care Systems.