NHS achieves key Long Term Plan commitment to roll out Integrated Care Systems across England

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Patients will have better, more joined up care as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), which require all parts of the NHS to work with each other and their partners, are rolled out across the country from next month.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens today confirmed that the final 13 areas, serving 14.9 million people, will be formally designated “integrated care systems” (ICSs) from April 1, hitting a major milestone in the NHS Long Term Plan.

A total of 42 ICSs, which bring together hospital, community and mental health trusts, GPs and other primary care services with local authorities and other care providers will cover the whole of England.

Announcing the decision to approve the local applications from these 13 areas at a meeting of ICS leaders, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Partnership working has been at the heart of the NHS’s remarkable response to the coronavirus pandemic and the NHS vaccination programme.

“Now GPs, hospitals, pharmacists, local authorities and community groups have also come together to deliver COVID jabs to more than 22 million people across England in a matter of weeks.

“We have seen what the NHS pulling together can do in the most testing period in the health service’s history.

“The establishment of ICSs across the country will help to ensure that agile approach and can-do attitude endures beyond the pandemic.”

The NHS Long Term Plan said Integrated Care Systems would be central to its delivery by bringing together local organisations to redesign care and improve population health, creating shared leadership and action.

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Date: 22 March 2021