9. Drive the integration of care and enable change

Transforming care through harnessing information and technology

The overall strategy for technology in health and care is to digitise services, connect them to support greater integration and, with these foundations, enable service transformation. The government’s Digital Health And Care Plan, soon to be published, will set out a vision and action plan for digital transformation. We are working with colleagues in NHS Digital ahead of NHS Digital’s incorporation into NHS England next year.

Our commitments for 2022/23

  • Continue to invest in the foundations for digital maturity, such as electronic records, infrastructure and connectivity across health and social care.
  • Establish digital, data and technology talent pipelines and improve digital literacy among leaders and the workforce.
  • Build on the basic shared care records in place in all integrated care systems (ICSs) to increase the range of organisations that can connect to them, and begin work to enable individuals, their approved carers and their care team to view and contribute to the record.
  • Support ICSs to implement a population health and planning data platform and business intelligence tools.
  • Support the publication of a Cyber Security Strategy for Health and Social Care that will help all parts of the health and social care system build resilience to cyber-attacks, including to safeguard people’s private information.
  • Support local NHS and social care organisations to manage cyber risk and ensure compliance with national cyber standards in each ICS and NHS region.

Supporting the NHS’s Net Zero ambition

The NHS is tackling climate change and air pollution head on, saving lives and delivering high quality, cost-effective care for our patients. The Health and Care Act 2022 makes clear that this is a priority for every trust and ICS, and they are meeting this challenge; all have developed their own, localised Green Plan.

Our commitments for 2022/23:

  • Support energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
  • Introduce a 10% weighting in all tenders for net zero and social value.
  • Optimise the prescription and use of inhalers to improve outcomes from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Establish integrated care boards and support collaborative system working

Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that have 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, the Health and Care Act 2022 established 42 ICSs across England on a statutory basis on 1 July 2022.

Each ICS includes:

  • an integrated care board (ICB): a statutory NHS organisation responsible for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging the provision of health services in the ICS area
  • an integrated care partnership (ICP): a statutory committee jointly formed between the ICB and all upper-tier local authorities that fall within the ICS area to align strategy with wider partners.

Our commitments for 2022/23

  • Co-produce the long-term ambition for how ICSs work and build understanding of how ICSs can best support the delivery of NHS commitments and local strategies for improving health and wellbeing outcomes.
  • Finalise statutory guidance on ICS establishment and partnership arrangements, and continue to develop and shape the wider policy framework for ICSs.
  • Support the development of partnership arrangements within ICSs, including with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, social care providers and Healthwatch.
  • Co-design and deliver the model for system engagement and communications, as well as ongoing leadership development and support as agreed with ICSs and ICBs.

The integration of NHS England and NHS Improvement

The passing of the Health and Care Act 2022 enables the legal merger of NHS England and NHS Improvement on 1 July 2022. Our ambition is to create a single organisation united in focus and purpose. In consolidating the considerable expertise, knowledge and experience each organisation brings, we will ensure that we are best placed to tackle the challenges facing the NHS and deliver even better for patients, colleagues and wider communities.

Subject to the passage of secondary legislation, and in collaboration with the Department of Health & Social Care, we will prepare for the legal merger of the new NHS England, Health Education England, and NHS Digital, expected in 2023.

Our commitments for 2022/23

  • Merge NHS England and NHS Improvement. From 1 July 2022 NHS England and NHS Improvement will be named NHS England.
  • Design the new NHS England, including how we will organise ourselves to deliver the new organisation’s priorities and the opportunities available to us through bringing the organisations together, and our operating model.
  • Shape our new culture to make NHS England a great place to work for our people and help us achieve our inclusion, diversity and wellbeing ambitions.
Next page: Improve productivity and reduce variation across the health system

You can download a PDF version of our 2022/23 business plan here