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Adult social care providers launch ICS engagement white paper

A group of adult social care organisations launch a white paper urging Integrated Care Systems to work with adult social care providers to develop more effective engagement mechanisms.

24/05/22

Adult social care providers launch ICS engagement white paper

The Good Governance Institute (GGI), Care England and the Homecare Association have launched a white paper designed to explore the extent to which the adult social care (ASC) sector is being appropriately engaged in the ongoing development of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

ICSs are partnerships of organisations that 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, recommendations of NHS England and NHS Improvement and Royal Assent of the Health and Care Act (2022), 42 ICSs will be established across England on a statutory basis on 1 July 2022.

The group of adult social care providers, however, says that effective engagement among ICSs with the sector has not been consistent.

“Recently, much of the focus in healthcare has been more on post-pandemic restoration and recovery, although even that situation still seems to be changing rapidly,” the group said in a statement.

“Engagement with adult social care is essential to the success of integrated care systems (ICSs) and the development of health and social care services,” Andrew Corbett-Nolan, CEO of GGI said. “This paper and comes at an essential time for engagement with key partners across the system, to enable connections between health and social care.”

Each ICS will include an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) and an Integrated Care Board – a statutory NHS organisation responsible for developing a plan for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging for the provision of health services in the ICS area.

ICSs note that the social care partner member on the Integrated Care Board will not necessarily be able to effectively represent providers. The white paper therefore proposes that ICSs should work with providers to develop more effective engagement mechanisms. It also recommends that ICSs have a provider forum or liaise with local care associations which nominates a representative to the ICS Partnership Board.

The paper also urges the Department of Health and Social Care to publish a specific framework for ICS engagement with the ASC sector.

Martin Green, CEO of Care England, said engagement with the sector should be central to the plans.

“In order for ICSs to succeed, social care provider's must be heard. We urge all ICS leaders to carefully consider the key recommendations in this paper to ensure that integration works for both health and social care.”

Jane Townson, CEO of the Homecare Association, said engagement was “paramount” to create a culture of collaboration between partners.

"Homecare services play a vital role, alongside housing, health and other community-based services, in enabling us all to live well at home and flourish in our communities.

“We thus strongly encourage Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to engage effectively with homecare providers and develop the huge potential that joined up care systems offer. Investing in multi-disciplinary support for people to maintain their health and well-being at home helps to enhance healthy life expectancy, which benefits individuals and their families, reduces pressure on the NHS and reduces costs in health and care systems."

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