Integrated Care in Somerset
On the 1 July the new Health and Care Bill brings Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) into law. This formalises the arrangements for NHS organisations, local councils and other partners in a defined geographical area to work together to deliver more joined up services, tackle inequalities and improve the health of the population.
Somerset ICS includes a statutory Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), and a new NHS body called the Integrated Care Board (ICB). These are described in more detail below.
In Somerset, we have already achieved a lot by working in partnership; this has been strengthened through our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes have been made possible by different organisations – NHS hospitals, GPs, councils, care homes, commissioners, voluntary and community organisations and others – joining forces to agree and plan for local people’s needs.
What is an Integrated Care System (ICS)?
An Integrated Care System (ICS) brings together NHS organisations, local councils, and wider partners in a defined geographical area to deliver more joined up approaches to improving health and care outcomes.
ICSs remove barriers between organisations to enable the delivery of better, more joined up care for local communities. ICS partners share a common vision to improve health and care, backed by robust operational and financial plans, collective leadership and accountability.
Our health is affected by many things – for example, lifestyle choices, housing, educational opportunities, unemployment, and poverty. ICSs have the potential to drive improvements in population health and tackle health inequalities by reaching beyond the NHS to work alongside local authorities and other partners to address these wider social and economic determinants of health.
The ICS will be made up of two key bodies: the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) and the Integrated Care Board (ICB).
What is an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP)?
An Integrated Care Partnership for Somerset will be created as a formal alliance of partners with a role in improving the health and wellbeing of our residents.
The ICP will link in with all the wider partners – including the voluntary sector. Through discussions with those partners, the partnership uses the information about the local population to create a strategy for helping everyone who lives in Somerset to live healthy.
Together we will develop a plan to address the broader health, public health and social care needs of the population.
Preparations are being made for the Somerset Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) to be established between the Integrated Care Board (ICB), Somerset County Council and our partners. The partner organisations in our Integrated Care Partnership will include:
- Somerset Integrated Care Board (NHS Somerset)
- Somerset County Council
- Somerset GP Provider Board
- Somerset Healthwatch
- Somerset NHS Foundation Trust / Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
What is an Integrated Care Board (ICB)?
Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) have been established as the new statutory organisations to lead integration within the NHS. Integrated Care Boards feature representatives from local councils, the NHS and partners including the voluntary sector.
1 July 2022 marks the launch of the new NHS Somerset Integrated Care Board (ICB), which will be known as NHS Somerset.
NHS Somerset is the new statutory NHS organisation responsible for implementing a health and care strategy that we develop together and in partnership with the people that live in Somerset.
It also takes on the legal duties of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group – which as part of the reforms will cease to exist – in the planning, performance, financial management and transformation of the local NHS.
All partners together form the Somerset Integrated Care System (ICS).
Our health and care community
We’ve already made significant progress in Somerset over the last few years to improve care and provide more joined up services, this means that some of the work we need to do to develop as an ICS is already in place.
The move to integrated care gives us the opportunity to really make a difference for our residents and communities. Working together in partnership we can deliver huge benefits to the health and care system and will improve the health and wellbeing of Somerset’s residents.
Somerset ICS Development
In Somerset, we have already achieved a lot by working in partnership; this has been strengthened through our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are just a few examples of successful partnership working in Somerset:
- The Somerset Integrated Digital e-Record (SIDeR), our shared care record system.
- Long Covid-19 recovery service operating in primary care settings
- Redeployment of staff to support frontline health and care workers during Covid-19
- Rapid roll out of the Covid-19 vaccinations
- Mutual aid to support care homes in accessing equipment
- 24/7 access to the crisis mental health support line ‘Mindline’
- Transforming hospital discharge pathways and reducing delays
- Launching our crisis safe spaces in four locations in Somerset
- Transforming urgent care through ‘Think 111 First’
- Partnership working with local VCSE organisations to improve support to vulnerable groups
- Fit for my Future community engagement on the early thinking for neighbourhood and community services in Somerset
- Fit for my Future consultation on the future location of inpatient mental health facilities in Somerset.
These changes have been made possible by different organisations – NHS hospitals, GPs, councils, care homes, commissioners, voluntary and community organisations and others – joining forces to agree and plan for local people’s needs.