Integrated care systems

In 2016, NHS organisations and local councils came together to form sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) covering the whole of England, and set out their proposals to improve health and care for patients.

In some areas, a partnership will evolve to form an integrated care system, a new type of even closer collaboration. In an integrated care system, NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve.

Local services can provide better and more joined-up care for patients when different organisations work together in this way. For staff, improved collaboration can help to make it easier to work with colleagues from other organisations. And systems can better understand data about local people’s health, allowing them to provide care that is tailored to individual needs.

By working alongside councils, and drawing on the expertise of others such as local charities and community groups, the NHS can help people to live healthier lives for longer, and to stay out of hospital when they do not need to be there.

In return, integrated care system leaders gain greater freedoms to manage the operational and financial performance of services in their area. They will draw on the experience of the 50 ‘vanguard’ sites, which have led the development of new care models across the country.

More information is available in: Breaking down barriers to better health and care.

In May 2020 another four areas were designated as integrated care systems (with three having been named in June 2019) meaning around half of the country’s population is now covered by an ICS. There are now 18 integrated care systems as shown below:

Map showing where the 18 integrated care systems are within England.

Find out more about some areas that are working towards developing an integrated care system:

  1. South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
  2. Frimley Health and Care
  3. Dorset
  4. Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
  5. Nottinghamshire
  6. Lancashire and South Cumbria
  7. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West were already ICSs prior to June 2019).
  8. Greater Manchester (devolution deal)
  9. Surrey Heartlands (devolution deal)
  10. Gloucestershire
  11. West Yorkshire and Harrogate
  12. Suffolk and North East Essex
  13. The North East and North Cumbria
  14. South East London
  15. South West London
  16. Humber, Coast and Vale
  17. Sussex
  18. Hertfordshire and West Essex

Find out more

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