Integrated care systems
Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups.
Since 2018, they have been deepening the relationship in many areas between the NHS, local councils and other important strategic partners such as the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. They have developed better and more convenient services, invested in keeping people healthy and out of hospital and set shared priorities for the future.
There are 42 ICSs in England, EPUT provides services in four – these are:
- Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership
- Hertfordshire and West Essex
- Suffolk and North East Essex
- Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
ICSs exist to improve the health of all residents, better support people living with multiple and long term conditions, preventing illness, tackling variation in care and delivering seamless services while getting maximum impact for every pound. They bring together the NHS, local government and other organisations including the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors.
While the geographical boundaries for the individual systems may evolve during 2021/22 to enable co-terminosity between the NHS and local government, the structures will enable health and care organisations to join forces and apply their collective strength to addressing their residents’ biggest health challenges, many exacerbated by COVID-19.