One year on...ICSs

One year on... - By Chris Ketley

Post Covid, we continue to live in turbulent times and witness huge economic, political and environmental shifts on a global scale.

In England, the NHS remains a pivotal catalyst of the nation’s health and is often on the receiving end from fallouts of the turmoil. A shrinking workforce battles to cope with increased patient demands on multiple fronts, driven by an ageing population with increasingly complex needs and the management of health inequalities across local populations.

However, there is a glimmer of light with hope in sight as big changes continue to take place across the health and care system. It’s now been a full year since the Health and Care Act, April 2022, established a legislative framework that supports collaboration and partnership-working to integrate services for patients through the formation of 42 Integrated Care Systems. The purpose of these ICSs, created by NHS England, has been to bring health and care partnership organisations together around a defined population to deliver better health in local populations and tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access.

The upside of the changes has been a collective desire across the NHS to improve collaboration and partnership working that delivers service efficiencies whilst building robust relationships and, importantly trust through more aligned health and care services. This is a worthy goal and seeks to address a health paradox between an apparent united NHS system and local service delivery fragmentation.

New changes to healthcare infrastructure and organisation changes regulated by Integrated Care Boards and Integrated Partnership Committees have included Trusts working together through Provider Collaboratives to create shared services and benefits, the formation of Place-based healthcare partnerships across broader geographical areas linking healthcare services with local authorities (Surrey Heartland ICS is an example of successful joined up governance and relationships between healthcare providers and local council authorities) and the creation of Neighborhoods joining up health and care community services to serve local population needs (The Wigan Healthcare Partnership is a shining example).

Learning how these changes will impact Trusts and other healthcare services is closely monitored by St Vincent’s Consulting panel of experienced senior healthcare advisors, known as the Luminaries. Working alongside other front-line members of the St Vincent’s Consulting team, multiple NHS clients, including East Lancs and UHL have already benefited from the advisory team working at the Committee and Board level. So, what makes this group special?

The Luminaries

The Luminaries (Advisory and Assurance) are made up of individuals who bring a wealth of expertise and experience working in the NHS at executive and non-executive level and the valuable insights that come from this. Group expertise is made up of a diverse group of individuals who collectively have a balanced oversight of current NHS issues with experience at C-Level including CIO, CCIO, CDO, CNO CEO, COO, CMO, CFO or Non-Executive Directors.

Individually and collectively the Luminaries are a valuable resource hub with a wealth of insight, knowledge and specialist experience in digital transformation through the development of new technology and process solutions in clinical, operating and administrative systems: creating IT strategic change that has improved outcomes and patient care: practical involvement in numerous end to end ePR change programmes and leadership in new hospital builds.

Many of the team have also been a part of and helped shape the early formation of STPs and ICSs and continue to do so as the new NHS changes evolve. All this adds up to a senior resource that Board, Digital IT and Clinical teams can call up to provide important assurance as well as practical support that can steer faster decision-making and help mobilise and accelerate organisation transformation progress.

If you are an ICS or Trust that should like to call upon St V Consulting and its Luminary team please get in contact.

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