Northamptonshire has been confirmed as one of 13 new Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to be rolled out in England.

An ICS brings together hospital, community and mental health trusts, GPs and other primary care services with local authorities and other care providers to work together and apply their collective strength to addressing their residents’ biggest health and care challenges, many exacerbated by COVID-19.

You can find out more about Integrated Care Systems here.

The government wants ICSs to deliver three key aims: improving health, improving health services, and sustainable use of resources. An overarching theme is the reduction of inequalities in health within our population.

Locally, health and care partners have been working together for some time as Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership (NHCP) to collectively tackle our challenges and share good practice.

This ICS status will allow us to formalise some of our joint working arrangements, enabling us to simplify the way we work together and improve the ability to take decisions together in the same place.

Together we are already working on four clear improvement priorities: children and young people, mental health, frailty and elective treatment; and our clinical and professional teams across all our organisations are already making great progress and improvements through this collaborative approach.

Naomi Eisenstadt, Independent Chair of NHCP, said:

“I’m really energised by the opportunities that this collaborative working framework enables. It’s all about coming together to do the right things for local people and addressing the big health and care challenges within the county. I thank everyone for their tremendous efforts, especially over the past year and look forward to continuing our journey together as an ICS.”

Toby Sanders, Executive Lead of NHCP, said:

“We’re pleased to be formally recognised as an ICS because this is the direction we are already working in to join up health and care services to deliver better outcomes for local people. Our NHCP vision is that through joined up effort and shared resource we will create a positive lifetime of health wellbeing and care in our communities. We will now build on these ways of working as an ICS to move us even closer to our shared goal.”

This announcement is the latest step in our Partnership journey which, under current Government proposals, is likely to see a further move in April 2022 to put ICSs on a statutory footing, increasing both their powers and their responsibilities.

Strong Integrated Systems Everywhere

One of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that people need support which is joined up across local councils, the NHS and voluntary and community organisations. This video from NHS England and NHS Improvement explains how Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) embed this collaboration, helping local services to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and beyond.