Kate Woodhead provides an insight into the vision for integrated care systems, as outlined in a recent White Paper, and examines some of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Changes to the healthcare system in England, which have been coming for a while, are ramping up and it is intended that they will be in place by April next year. The legislation required to enable some of the changes is highlighted in a White paper, published in February of this year.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published in 2019, set the road map for the changes designed to join up care locally, delivered around people’s need. It signals collaboration between partners in care. The greatest health challenges, which the NHS Long Term Plan seeks to tackle, are improving cancer care to transforming mental health, from giving young people a healthy start in life, to closing the gaps in health inequalities in communities, and enabling people to look after their own health and wellbeing. Political buzz words of the moment are ‘collaboration’ and ‘integration’. The vanguard ICSs (Integrated Care Systems) have successfully proved that they can be spread out around the country and for them to be put onto a statutory basis. The intention for the ICSs is to provide:
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