The Kings Fund: Leading for integrated care: ‘If you think competition is hard, you should try collaboration’

3 December 2019
Source: The Kings Fund

This quote from an integrated care leader says it all. Under current plans all pKings Fund Logoarts of the NHS in England are meant to have created an integrated care system (ICS) by April 2021. Better integrated care requires the dilution or destruction of the long-standing barriers between hospitals, GP practices, community services and social care, with the health system also working far more effectively with local government in tackling the broader determinants of population health. Getting there requires system leadership: the creation of collective leadership across all of that, for the benefit of the whole.

These new systems, however, are having to be constructed locally by ‘coalitions of the willing’, to use the phrase from the chair of one of the sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) that have been (and in many cases still remain) the pre-cursors of an ICS.

• The NHS long-term plan has reinforced the role of integrated care systems (ICSs) in establishing more collaborative working and joined-up care for patients and their local populations. ICSs will cover the whole of England by 2021.

• As these systems evolve, strong leadership is needed to bring NHS, local authority, private and third sector organisations together.

• Our interviews with the chairs and leads of both ICSs and the remaining sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) found that while progress is being made, there are also a number of challenges.

• These leaders are clear about the skills needed to create an ICS, but issues around governance, accountability, whether legislation is needed and the pipeline of future system leaders remain.

• System leaders also have concerns about future relations with ‘the centre’ and the regulators, the pace of change and on how far a collaborative and voluntary approach can be the key to success.

Read the full report on the Kings Fund Site

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