What is the Systems for Change project?

Practical learning and tools supporting integrated care systems to drive social and economic development.

13 September 2023

This article forms part of the Systems for Change project, which provides practical learning and tools to support integrated care systems to drive social and economic development.

If you work in an integrated care system, VCSE organisation, local government, business or academia and are looking to bring people together to improve people’s lives, the Systems for Change learning platform has been developed for you.

All integrated care systems (ICSs) are currently facing considerable short-term operational challenges to the delivery of health and care services in the face of the ongoing backlog post COVID-19, strike action and national funding cuts to running costs. This leaves many system leaders struggling to find the time, capacity, enthusiasm and motivation for this longer term, more strategic work, despite the consensus about its importance and potential future impact on service demand, the economy, and the health and wellbeing of people and communities.

What are we doing about it?

In 2022, feedback from ICSs confirmed that further detail on how systems are approaching their work on social and economic development, with practical tools, good practice and case studies, is welcome. Responding to this, in January 2023, NHS England commissioned the NHS Confederation, NAVCA, National Voices and the Local Government Association (LGA) as a consortium to capture and share learning from ICSs progressing their work against their social and economic development objective. This is known as the Systems for Change project.

NHS England initially recruited six systems and one region to be involved in the learning capture, with an additional system emerging from regional discussions.

  • Surrey Heartlands
  • Greater Manchester
  • Cheshire & Merseyside
  • West Yorkshire
  • Humber and North Yorkshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and the South West.

Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS was involved as a test bed for the learning.

Find out more about the Systems for Change project and access a range of resources.