Gloucestershire has been working in voluntary partnership as an Integrated Care System (ICS) since May 2018.
Whilst the NHS and care organisations in the county are core within that arrangement, our wider One Gloucestershire partnership, including service users, carers, districts and the voluntary and community sector has been integral to our success.
Working as an ICS has meant:
- greater focus on supporting people to keep healthy, independent and developing active communities
- more joined up care and support for people whether in their own home, GP surgery, community or in hospital
- easier for staff to work across organisations to support shared health and care priorities
- greater freedom and control to make local decisions about services and use of the Gloucestershire pound
- greater opportunities to attract additional money to develop services and support.
Some of the areas we have focused on include:
- Supporting active lifestyles
- Cancer services
- Health and housing
- Maternity care
- Mental health and well-being – incl. children and young people
- Supporting people with learning disabilities
- Supporting people with long term health conditions in their communities incl. social prescribing
- Stroke care
- Ageing well – including frailty, dementia and end of life care.
The Health and Care Bill which is currently working its way through parliament proposes to formalise these arrangements and make ICSs statutory organisations from April 2022.
An NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB – we are waiting for confirmation of the ‘public friendly’ name for the organisation) will be responsible for overseeing the day to day running of the NHS in Gloucestershire and developing a plan to meet the healthcare needs of our population. It will take on the commissioning responsibilities (i.e. buying health services and support to meet the needs of local people) from the current CCG and some from NHS England.
You may be aware that an employment commitment is in place to ensure minimum disruption throughout the period of transition, meaning all staff affected (below Board level) will ‘lift and shift’ to the new statutory ICB, with no large-scale organisational change.
Dame Gill Morgan has been appointed as Chair designate of the ICB and the process to appoint the Chief Executive is underway, with guidance expected soon for other mandatory executive roles. We will continue to engage with staff regularly in the coming weeks and months via weekly briefings and staff meetings.
The ICB will work hand in glove with an Integrated Care Partnership bringing together health, social care, public health and wider partners. This will help us to build on the real strides we have already made using our collective effort, expertise and resources. This partnership will be responsible for agreeing an integrated care strategy for improving and joining up public health, health care and social care.
The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement recently published an engagement document on the development of ICPs and their role within systems which we are in the process of working through. It sets out the guiding expectations for ICPs, and we are pleased to see that there will be maximum local flexibility on how together we set up the partnership.
Informed by national guidance, we have identified eight key priorities areas to support recovery, transform the quality of support and care we provide to local people and improve the health and wellbeing of our population.
You can read more about these emerging priority areas and what we know so far about the development of the ICB and ICP on the ICS transition page of the One Gloucestershire website here.