We are part of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, or ICS – a regional partnership of the NHS, councils and others. Together we share responsibility for resources, setting objectives and care standards, and improving the health of the 3.1 million people in our region.
Our ICS is not a new organisation – it’s a collaboration of NHS commissioners, NHS providers and our wider partners. Most of our work is focused in places and neighbourhoods, but it also provides a way for us to work together on regional issues that need to be tackled at scale.
By focusing on these wider priorities together, our work can have a bigger collective impact in areas like clinical strategy and clinical networks, strategic commissioning (e.g. for ambulance services) and development of shared policies.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, sets out clear expectations for all Integrated Care Systems.
Our CCG and our NHS partners across the region have agreed to work together where it makes most sense to do so, but also to protect the importance of ‘place’ – organisations staying accountable to local people, and being able to respond to local needs.
We are working across three levels of scale:
- Place – populations of around 150,000 to 500,000 people are the main focus for partnership working between the NHS and councils. In these areas, primary care networks (providing services to around 30,000-50,000 people each) will support collaboration between GP practices, social care, other community based care providers and voluntary sector organisations.
- Integrated care partnerships – populations of around one million (with the exception of North Cumbria, which has unique geographical and demographic features), focused on collaboration across NHS hospital trusts, to ensure safe and sustainable services.
- Integrated care system – a population of around 3.1 million people, focused on ‘at scale’ activity that achieves efficiencies.
For more information, see the ICS’s Join Our Journey website.