What is an Integrated Care System?

Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, and to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.

Following several years of locally led development, recommendations from NHS England and NHS Improvement and Royal Assent of the Health and Care Act (2022), on 1 July 2022, 42 ICSs were be established across England on a statutory basis, including our own South Yorkshire Integrated Care System.

The purpose of ICSs is to bring partner organisations together to:

  • improve outcomes in population health and healthcare
  • tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • enhance productivity and value for money
  • help the NHS support broader social and economic development

South Yorkshire ICS includes: ​​​

  • South Yorkshire Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) – a statutory committee jointly formed between the NHS South Yorkshire ICB and place partnerships and is chaired by Oliver Coppard, Mayor of South Yorkshire. Our ICP is responsible for producing an integrated care strategy on how to meet the health and wellbeing needs of our local population. It brings together a broad alliance of Place Partnerships which  lead the detailed design and delivery of integrated services across their localities and neighbourhoods. The partnerships involve the NHS, local councils, community and voluntary organisations, local residents, people who use services, their carers and representatives and other community partners with a role in supporting and improving the health and wellbeing of the population.
  • NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) – a statutory NHS organisation responsible for developing a plan for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging for the provision of health services across South Yorkshire. Our ICB is called NHS South Yorkshire. When ICBs became legally established in July 2022, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were abolished.
  • Provider collaboratives and alliances will bring providers together to achieve the benefits of working at scale across our places in South Yorkshire to improve quality, efficiency and outcomes and address unwarranted variation and inequalities in access and experience across different providers.

Strong Integrated Care Systems Everywhere

An Integrated Care System will have a number of important aims to improve the health of its population:

Improving population health

Tackling the causes of illness and the wider determinants of health such as employment, education, housing which impact on how people not only survive, but thrive.

Improving the quality of patient care

Introducing new roles such as Clinical Pharmacists to support patient-medical relationships, flexible deployment of nursing and midwifery staff (Continuity of Carer midwives), increasing patient access (e.g. GP weekend appointments ), using digital technological and innovations (e.g. virtual consultations for GPs during Covid-19) and networking services.

Delivering financially sustainable services

Joining-up services across hospital sites or GP practices where safe and logistically reasonable for the purpose of better patient outcomes e.g. Hyper Acute Stroke Units

Addressing health inequalities

Through recognising preventable illnesses – and working in communities to support people to lead healthier lifestyles through behaviour change programmes (smoking, alcohol and obesity).