Key documents for integrated care systems

This page includes key documents on the development of integrated care systems (ICSs).

For NHS guidance on the establishment of statutory ICSs please see the integrated care systems guidance page

The FutureNHS ICS guidance workspace hosts the latest guidance and other resources for systems to support ICS transition and development (this platform requires a log in).

Integrated care strategy guidance

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued statutory guidance to support integrated care partnerships produce integrated care strategies. This will set the direction for how a system should work together to improve the health and wellbeing of local populations through collaboration, joint working and integration. The Department of Health and Social Care has worked closely with NHS England and the Local Government Association to develop this document.

Expected ways of working between integrated care partnerships and adult social care providers

This document, co-produced by Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the Local Government Association, sets out a series of principles to guide how integrated care partnerships engage with adult social care providers. It recognises the importance of the sector as a strategic partner in the health and care system.

Guidance to integrated care boards on applying to NHS England to amend their constitution

This guidance sets out the steps for ICBs to apply to NHS England for approval to amend their constitutions.

Guidance on the preparation of integrated care board constitutions

This guidance on preparing integrated care board (ICB) constitutions is issued by NHS England following approval of the Health and Care Act (2022). It sets out the relevant requirements of that Act and NHS England policy, in line with preparatory guidance published first in summer 2021 and refined during the passage of the legislation, developed with partners and ICSs.

Guidance on the preparation of integrated care board constitutions – Annex

This annex to the guidance on preparing ICB constitutions presents the model constitution for ICBs.  It has been produced to help ensure that ICB constitutions comply with legal and policy requirements, including appropriate local flexibility.

Integrated care partnerships: engagement summary

Integrated care partnerships (ICPs) are a critical part of integrated care systems, jointly convened by local authorities and the NHS.

In March 2022, NHS England, alongside the Local Government Association and the Department of Health and Social Care, published Integrated care partnership (ICP): engagement summary which collates the findings of joint engagement on the vision for in ICPs, set out in September 2021.

Integrated care partnership engagement document: Integrated care system implementation

This engagement document was co-produced by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and the Local Government Association. It sets out our expectations for the role of integrated care partnerships (ICPs) within integrated care systems.

It is designed to support local authorities, integrated care boards and other key stakeholders to consider what arrangements might work best in their area when laying the foundations for establishing ICPs.

Thriving places: guidance on the development of place-based partnerships as part of statutory integrated care systems

This document, co-produced NHS England and Local Government Association, seeks to support all partner organisations in ICSs to collectively define their place-based partnership working arrangements.

ICS implementation guidance on working with people and communities

The ICS design framework sets the expectation that partners in an ICS should agree how to listen consistently to, and collectively act on, the experience and aspirations of local people and communities.

This guidance sets out 10 principles for how integrated care boards (ICBs) can develop their approaches to working with people and communities.

ICS implementation guidance on effective clinical and care professional leadership

This guidance supports the development of distributed clinical and care professional leadership across integrated care systems (ICSs).

It describes ‘what good looks like’, based on an extensive engagement exercise with over two thousand clinical and care professional leaders from across the country, led by a multi-professional steering group.

ICS implementation guidance on partnerships with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

This guidance provides more detail on how to embed voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector partnerships in ICSs, for health and care leaders from all organisations in ICSs that are developing partnerships across local government, health, housing, social care and the VCSE sector.

The ICS design framework sets the expectation that integrated care board governance and decision-making arrangements support close working with the VCSE sector as a strategic partner in shaping, improving and delivering services, and developing and delivering plans to tackle the wider determinants of health.

Working together at scale: Guidance on provider collaboratives

The ICS design framework sets an expectation that provider collaboratives will be a key component in enabling ICSs to deliver their core purpose.

This guidance outlines the minimum expectations for how providers should work together in provider collaboratives, offering principles to support local decision-making and suggesting the function and form that systems and providers may wish to consider.

Building strong integrated care systems everywhere: Guidance on the integrated care system people function

The guidance builds on the priorities set out in the People Plan. It is intended to help NHS system leaders and their partners support their ‘one workforce’ by delivering key outcome-based people functions.

Guidance on the employment commitment: Supporting the development and transition towards statutory integrated care systems

The guidance on the employment commitment has been published. It provides direction in respect of what the employment commitment is, its application in practice and how it affects people

Human resources (HR) framework for developing integrated care boards

The HR framework provides national policy ambition and practical support for NHS organisations affected by the legislative changes as they develop towards statutory integrated care boards.

Integrated care systems design framework

The Integrated Care Systems Design Framework sets out NHS England’s expectations and aspirations for the NHS’s role in Integrated Systems following the Government’s white paper on Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all. In drafting this framework NHS England talked to a wide range of stakeholders including those representing patient voices, clinical and professional leaders, local government and many more.

Legislating for integrated care systems: Five recommendations to Government and Parliament

In early 2021 NHS England made five recommendations to the Government on the question of how to legislate to place Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) on a statutory footing, having gathered the views of the NHS, local government and wider stakeholders.

Integrating care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England

This document set out NHS England’s proposals for how Integrated Care Systems and their constituent organisations could accelerate collaborative ways of working in future, considering the key components of an effective integrated care system (ICS) and reflecting what a range of local leaders told us about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive lead roles within integrated care boards

A commitment was given to Parliament during consideration of the Health and Care Act 2022 that every Integrated Care Board would identify lead members of the board with explicit responsibility for the following population groups:

  • Children and young people (aged 0 to 25)
  • Children and young people with special educational needs and disability
  • Safeguarding (all-age)
  • Learning disability and autism (all-age)
  • Down syndrome (all-age)

 To support systems, we have drafted guidance to support the fulfilment of these functions and outline the responsibilities of these roles in more detail.