ICS leadership

ICS leaders and independent chairs for NHS integrated care systems (ICS) have responsibility for the future of the health and care systems within their region, to improve the health and care of the population covered by each respective system.

Over the last few years they have operated by building ever greater partnership working between the NHS and local authorities – initially as System Transformation Partnerships – engaging with a range of stakeholders to maximise the benefits of collaborative working, shared decision making and effective governance.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of those who have performed these roles, every part of the country was able to be designated as an ICS by April 2021, an ambition set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Future plans

The House of Commons recently voted to give the Health and Care Bill a second reading.

The Bill contains a series of measures which would formally establish ICSs and give their governing bodies – including an NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) for each area – a broader range of responsibilities, empowering them to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

While we cannot pre-empt the decisions of Parliament, the Bill receiving a positive vote at Second Reading means there is a degree of confidence that the measures relating to ICSs will become law.

In turn, that means the NHS locally, regionally and nationally has a responsibility to prepare for when those measures are expected to come into effect, which is currently April 2022.

A key element of this preparation is confirming who we would expect to take up senior roles for each NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB), starting with  the chair designates.

Process for selecting Chair designates for ICBs

To support the selection processes to these new and significant leadership roles we have developed a set of national leadership competencies, roles and responsibilities as well as a desired set of leadership values and behaviours in order to advance the ambitions of the NHS People Plan.

In most  ICSs, a robust selection process to appoint the independent ICS chairs had already been undertaken and we have assured those processes, confirmed there is ongoing stakeholder support and that the postholder wishes to remain the NHS ICB chair. We have now agreed that the incumbent independent chair will be the NHS ICB chair designate.

We have therefore been able to confirm that the incumbent ICS chair will be the ICB chair-designate, ready to assume the new role from April 2022 if Parliament confirms its creation.

This robust assurance process involved:

  • A full stakeholder assessment, and assessment against the criteria outlined above;
  • Confirmation from the incumbent that they wish to carry on in the new role, and;
  • Approval from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

In the remaining 17 ICSs, the incumbent Independent Chairs either indicated they wished to step down, there is currently a vacancy or there will be a vacancy by April/ May 2022, or the incumbent is in an interim position.

An open recruitment process for these roles was therefore launched on 27 July 2021.

The recruitment is being run by NHS England and NHS Improvement as the appointing body, and candidates will be assessed against the same criteria as outlined above.

The list below sets out the current status for each ICS.

When ICB chairs are in place, the recruitment process will move on to appointing ICB CEO-designates. The current list of ICS leader is below.

Current ICS independent chairs and ICB designate

Below is a list of the current ICS independent chairs. We have indicated whether the individual is also the NHS Integrated Care Board chair designate, or whether a recruitment process in underway.

North West

North East and Yorkshire

South West

South East

Midlands

East of England

London

Current ICS executive leads

Below is the current list of ICS leaders for all 42 parts of England.

Please note that a process will soon get underway to appoint designate chief executives to the NHS Integrated Care Board for each ICS, should Parliament legislate to create these bodies.

North East and Yorkshire

North West

South West

South East

Midlands

East of England

London