Integrated care systems (ICSs) are new 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.

April 2020: Achieving ICS Status

Achieving Integrated Care System status

In April 2020, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership become an Integrated Care System (ICS). Our application for ICS status was ratified by NHS England and NHS Improvement a year earlier than required by the NHS Long Term Plan. The HCV Partnership was one of only four sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) to achieve ICS status in April 2020, joining the 14 ICS already operating across England.

Achieving ICS status ahead of schedule was testament to the hard work and the significant progress the Partnership made in developing local health and care services to meet the needs of our population. Our organisations demonstrated that they share a common goal to improve health and wellbeing in our communities, supported by robust operational and financial plans, and proposals for collective leadership and accountability.

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How ICSs will work in the future

Working together to integrate care

In February 2021, the Government published its policy paper, Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all. Joined up care for everyone in England is at the heart of the plans set out in this document. Two forms of integration are underpinned by the legislation: integration within the NHS to make working together an organising principle; and greater collaboration between the NHS and local government, as well as wider delivery partners, to deliver improved outcomes to health and wellbeing.

The NHS and local authorities will collaborate with each other and statutory integrated care systems (ICSs) will be formed. These will be comprised of an ICS Health and Care Partnership, bringing together the NHS, local government and partners, and an ICS NHS Body. The ICS NHS body will be responsible for the day to day running of the ICS, while the ICS Health and Care Partnership will bring together systems to support integration and develop a plan to address the systems’ health, public health, and social care needs. Both bodies will draw on the experience and expertise of front-line staff across health and social care.

The legislation will enable flexibility for local areas to determine the best system arrangements for them. A key responsibility for integrated care systems is to support place-based joint working between the NHS, local government, community health services, and other partners such as the voluntary and community sector.

What this means for Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

Working as an ICS enables our local services to provide better and more joined-up care for patients and improve the health and quality of life of local people. In November 2020, NHSEI set out principles for the future of ICSs in England and outlined two proposals for how ICSs could be embedded in legislation by April 2022.

Much of the approach outlined in the NHSEI document is already being developed or is in place in partnerships across England including in Humber, Coast and Vale; and we need to build on that as we consider the adjustments that need to be made to reflect the policy changes.

With support from NHSEI colleagues and the neighbouring ICSs we will continue to move forward and implement shadow arrangements from April 2021, with further work to be undertaken during the year as part of the transition period, prior to full implementation in April 2022.

ICS Updates

Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership appoints Sue Symington as Designate Integrated Care System Chair.

Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership is pleased to announce it has appointed Sue Symington as its Designate Integrated Care System (ICS) Chair.

Each of England’s 42 integrated care systems (ICSs) are required to appoint a Chair and a Chief Executive as part of the guidance issued to help embed ICSs in legislation by April 2022, subject to legislation approval.

Sue will also be appointed designate Chair of the anticipated NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Integrated Care Partnership (ICP).

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More information & key documents

There is further guidance and documents relating to the establishment of ICSs that can be accessed via the NHS England website.

To find out more about the development and establishment of integrated care systems in England, visit: