Have Your Say On Building A Strong Integrated Care System
NHS England is consulting on Integrating care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England. This consultation will feed directly in the Department of Health and Social Care’s plans for new legislation in the spring.
NHSE are asking patients, NHS staff, partner organisations and interested members of the public to take part in the consultation which will close on 8 January 2021.
A lot of the early part of the document is a recap of proposals in the Long Term Plan, setting the scene for legislative proposals. These include proposals for legislation to strengthen the role of ICSs. There are two basic options:
Option 1: a statutory committee model with an Accountable Officer that binds together current statutory organisations.
Option 2: a statutory corporate NHS body model that additionally brings CCG statutory functions into the ICS.
Although the two proposals have a lot in common, the main difference is that Option 2 would see ICSs take on the commissioning functions of CCGs. This is also seen as removing a conflict of interest with the current GP-led CCG model (although it doesn’t address any possible conflict of interest with providers).
NHSE/I is also proposing the ability to transfer or delegate services which it currently commissions to ICSs (where it is “appropriate” and “subject to safeguards”). This element is quite short on detail but will, presumably, need to take account of factors such as the viability of services at different levels. The services commissioned by NHSE include ‘specialised services’ (such as treatments for rare conditions and secure mental health services), dentistry, healthcare in prisons, and military and veteran health services.