What is the purpose of Integrated Care Systems, and why are they needed?
Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) have been in development for several years. Since July 2022, Integrated Care Systems have been given a statutory footing by the Health and Care Act, meaning they are now responsible for planning and funding health and care services in the area they cover.
Integrated care systems, partnerships that bring together health and care organisations in a particular local area, have four key aims:
The NHS was initially set up to treat single conditions or illnesses. However, since then, the health and care needs of the population have changed. Many people are now living longer, with multiple, long-term and complex conditions that demand long-term support and assistance from multiple professionals and services. Due to this, people are often receiving fragmented care that is not coordinated around their specific needs.
Fragmented care can sometimes lead to a duplication of services, breakdowns in communication, and a lack of coordination among providers. When a person's care is not properly coordinated, it can result in negative experiences and poorer outcomes.
Integrating health and social care services will bring many benefits and help to deliver better outcomes for people, enable services to be more proactive and effective, ensure that people receive the right care in the right place at the right time, reduce the burden on services and save lives. To deliver joined up care that effectively meets the population's needs, various parts of the NHS (such as hospitals, primary care, community and mental health services) and health and social care must work together in a more joined up way. The 42 Integrated Care Systems are the latest attempt to bring NHS and local government services together, helping to deliver better-integrated care.
Person Centred Software has helped many care providers apply for funding and are working in partnership with Integrated Care Systems to host several virtual and in-person events across the UK.
Click here to find your local ICS area.