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Hewitt Independent Review of ICSs Published

Patricia Hewitt’s independent review into Integrated Care Systems (ICS) has been published, the Government has today announced.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, commissioned Hewitt to chair the review in November 2022, asking her to explore how the oversight and governance of ICSs can best equip them for success.

The review has identified six key principles that it believes will create the context in which ICSs can thrive and deliver. These are: collaboration within and between systems and national bodies; a limited number of shared priorities; allowing local leaders the space and time to lead; the right support; balancing freedom with accountability; and enabling access to timely, transparent and high-quality data.

ICBs include representatives from local authorities, primary care and NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts.

The review covered ICSs in England and the NHS targets and priorities for which ICBs are accountable, including those set out in the government’s mandate to NHS England.

Drawing on the insights of leaders from across the NHS, local government, social care providers, the charitable and the voluntary and social enterprise sector the review looked at how best to empower local leaders to focus on improving outcomes for their populations.

Organisations representing patients as well as experts in academia and think tanks also fed into the call for evidence which received more than 400 responses.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: Integrated care systems are an important part of the government’s plan to deliver more joined up and effective health and care services and to cut waiting times for patients, one of the Prime Minister’s key priorities for 2023.

Ministers will review recommendations of this report in due course.

Chair of the independent review of integrated care systems, Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt, said:
It was an enormous privilege to undertake this review, published today.

Integrated Care Systems represent the best opportunity in a generation for the urgently needed transformation that we need in our health and care system. Everyone wants them to succeed.

To fulfil their potential, however, we need not only to back our new structures, but also to change our culture. Everyone needs to change, and everyone needs to play their part.

My recommendations are intended to help the health and care system make those changes – and I hope that ministers, NHS England and others will feel able to take them forward.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“I welcome Patricia’s review, and the recommendations she sets out.

“While the foundations for Integrated Care Systems were set out in legislation last year, what we now need to see is a cultural and behavioural shift to make the best of these new structures – something this review will help to instigate.

“It is testament to the Review team’s tenacity and hard work that a wide range of ICSs have been involved in the consultation process and reflects on the importance of seeing the health of the nation as more than the health service but as integral to a healthy and thriving society.

“The focus on prevention is crucial for long term sustainability of both the NHS and more broadly to increase health and wellbeing of the population, and something for which we have long been advocating.

“Through our ICS Network and its members, we look forward to continuing to help enable joint working between ICS leaders as recommended in the review and ensuring that ICSs can work closely with social care providers.

“We hope to see the government endorse and accept all of these recommendations, which are vital to the health and care system being able to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

 

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