NHS care revolutionised with launch of ICS

July 2022

Friday 1 July sees Integrated Care Systems take over from Clinical Commissioning Groups – one of the most significant changes in NHS procurement for many years.

The change will see 42 new ICSs established across England who will provide collaborative healthcare within their designated area. The new ICS model sees health and care services joined up across regions, with local authorities working together with healthcare providers, GP teams, hospitals, and other partners to improve services and deliver better outcomes for people who live and work in their area.

The journey

The journey to deliver joined up health care service has been several years in the making, with the NHS setting out its vision for the future in 2014. Partners began working to bring Integrated Care Systems to fruition in 2016, with the first models emerging in 2018 and NHS England working closely with them to pioneer best practice.

The Purpose

The purpose of ICSs is to bring partner organisations together to:

  • improve outcomes in population health and healthcare
  • tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • enhance productivity and value for money
  • help the NHS support broader social and economic development.

New initiatives

Boosting health checks in the community to find people with health problems before they become seriously unwell is a key goal of the shift to integrated care systems.

New initiatives being implemented through the systems include a GP practice in Stockport which is going into betting shops to deliver blood pressure checks, identifying and preventing hypertension issues before people end up in hospital.

In Coventry and North Warwickshire, a local sports club offers diabetes and weight management support, taking referrals from GP teams but also reaching out to people in the local area they think might be most at-risk. People can receive tailored one to one diet and lifestyle support, and access to the club’s gym facilities.

And thanks to these local authority partnerships in Bedfordshire, patients who frequently call 999 but do not need emergency help are given alternative “lifesaving” support in their community, ensuring peoples’ needs are met as well as freeing up staff time to deal with emergency calls.

Saving lives and reducing costs

The changes are set to save an estimated £14M each year by reducing the number of chief executives working in the NHS by almost 170.

New systems are already proving to be an effective tool in tackling the covid backlogs, with eight systems reducing two-year waiters to single figures ahead of the end of July target. Nationally, there are 70% fewer two-year waiters than in January.


Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “Integrated care systems have the power to truly transform the way that we care for people up and down the country – not only will the NHS provide care when someone is unwell or has an accident but alongside our local government partners, we must also now play an increasing key role in managing peoples’ health so that we can catch more killer conditions earlier and save lives.

“Local areas are already doing this by going out into communities to spot signs and symptoms earlier in places such as sports clubs and betting shops as well as ensuring people can access community support rather than using 999 or going to A&E.

“Through these schemes, we are already making a massive difference to peoples’ lives. The NHS will now build on this success and innovation and deliver care for patients that is fit for the future as well as saving taxpayers’ millions of pounds each year”.


What does this mean for you and how HCI can help

The HCI research team have been busy updating our extensive NHS contacts database with details of the 42 new ICS organisations and the staff who will be working within them.

Our research is meticulous – after all, this is much more than a public sector re-branding exercise. New organisations, new roles, new responsibilities and new routes to engagement – it’s a major change that any business supplying to the NHS needs to be across.

We’ll be publishing transition updates on the HCI website and will provide further insights into the changes and what they mean for the NHS supply chain.

Interested in finding out more about what HCI can do for you?

Book a demonstration today and explore the world of opportunity in regard to healthcare tendering.