Latest guidance on ICS development issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement

Professor Stephen Eames CBE, Independent Chair and System Lead, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

Last month two key pieces of guidance relating to the proposals for Integrated Care System (ICS) development were published by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The documents can be found on the NHSEI website.

The Integrated Care Systems: design framework sets out the next steps for how NHS leaders and organisations will operate with their partners in ICSs from April 2022, and puts in place the practical steps to prepare for the new arrangements that we expect to be enabled by legislation in the near future.

The framework outlines how the ICS Partnership and ICS NHS body should operate, governance and management arrangements that need to be in place, and how place-based partnerships and provider collaboratives will be developed. It provides an opportunity for some flexibility as to how these plans are implemented locally.

It also sets out the roadmap to implement arrangements for ICS NHS bodies and ICS Partnership Boards by April 2022, appointing leadership teams to the statutory organisation and to ensure that people affected by change are offered a smooth transition that allows them to maintain focus on their critical role in supporting recovery from the pandemic. In most cases this builds on what is already in place across Humber, Coast and Vale.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has also published guidance on what the employment commitment is, its application in practice and how it affects people during the transition.

In March we shared with staff our local approach to change and transition in Humber, Coast and Vale and we have talked about this at both the Humber and North Yorkshire and York Strategic Partnership team briefings and this remains unchanged.

We recognise that the documents will generate questions and want to ensure you have the opportunity to be able to ask them so please take some time to have a read through both documents.

The Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (Integrated Care System) will hold briefings as part of existing regular team briefs where questions can be fed in via line managers or HR teams for our response. Details of these briefings will be communicated when available.

Above all we want to ensure everyone across the Partnership feels valued and supported throughout this transition, including colleagues for who the employment commitment does not apply. Please also take time to note the support offers referenced in the Employment Commitment guidance.

We expect more guidance in the coming weeks and will keep you updated regularly as things progress.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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