As a partnership of local health and care organisations, NHCP has taken another big step towards achieving Integrated Care System (ICS) status for our county.

In an ICS, NHS organisations, local authorities and other partners take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering health and care services and improving the health and wellbeing of the population they serve.

As well as enabling organisations to work together and coordinate services more closely, improved collaboration can make it easier for colleagues to work together across organisations. It also makes it easier for health and care systems to understand data about local people’s health and provide care that’s tailored to individual needs.

In Northamptonshire, we are continuing the successful partnership work we have already achieved through NHCP to create a development plan to set out how we will achieve ICS status by April 2021.

Drawing on expertise from across our health and care organisations, we have been working to develop this plan over the past few months. The plan details some of the great work that’s already been delivered and shared in the pages of Partnership Update, as well as how we will build on this activity in the years to come.

As well as building upon the collaborative work we have achieved as a health and care system in response to the coronavirus pandemic, our plan encompasses the system development work we undertook in 2019 and early 2020 in response to the NHS Long Term Plan – including engagement with staff, patients, carers and members of the public. Additionally, the Northamptonshire plan has benefited from valuable input from senior local health and care leaders through board development sessions at various stages of its progression.

The ICS development plan was submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement just before Christmas. Formal approval of our plan will confirm Northamptonshire’s status as an Integrated Care System – and endorse the activity we have planned as an ICS to support a positive lifetime of health, wellbeing and care in our community.

With a clear focus on NHCP’s four priority programmes, this includes working to ensure the right services are provided to improve health and wellbeing outcomes at local ‘place’ level, based on the needs of people living in those communities. It will also see health and care providers working even more closely together through alliances and collaboratives to make services and care pathways more joined up for patients and service users. We will continue to provide regular updates on this activity in future editions of Partnership Update.