NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has confirmed the health service is set to roll out Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the final 13 areas of England from April 1, 2021 - achieving a key commitment within the NHS Long Term Plan.
ICSs seek to deliver better, more joined-up care to patients across the NHS, bringing together hospital, community and mental health trusts, GPs and other primary care services with local authorities and other care providers.
In order to cover the whole of England, the NHS planned for a total of 42 ICSs.
These final 13 areas, which serve approximately 14.9 million people, will represent the NHS achieving one of its major milestones as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.
The 13 new ICS areas are:
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
- Mid and South Essex
- The Black Country and West Birmingham
- Herefordshire and Worcestershire
- Coventry and Warwickshire
- Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
- Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
- Cheshire and Merseyside
- Kent and Medway
Announcing the decision to approve the local applications from these 13 areas, Sir Stevens said: “Partnership working has been at the heart of the NHS’s remarkable response to the coronavirus pandemic and the NHS vaccination programme.
“Now GPs, hospitals, pharmacists, local authorities and community groups have also come together to deliver Covid jabs to more than 22 million people across England in a matter of weeks.
“We have seen what the NHS pulling together can do in the most testing period in the health service’s history.
“The establishment of ICSs across the country will help to ensure that agile approach and can-do attitude endures beyond the pandemic.”
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Operating Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement added: “This milestone is a great achievement, which shows the strength of system collaboration across the country.
“The ICSs have proven their value over the past year and will play an increasingly important role in the restoration, recovery and transformation of services for the benefit of patients and citizens.”