This free webinar was delivered through the Leading Integration Peer Support programme, in partnership with the NHS Confederation, NHS Providers and the Local Government Association. The session focused on the development of integrated care strategies, explaining what they are, how they relate with other system strategies, and what best practice looks like. It was intended to support wider partners of integrated care systems to understand, in an introductory way, what the integrated care strategy is and does, how they might engage with it, and how they are being developed.
Links and information
- Webinar evaluation survey
- More information on the Leading Integration Peer Support Programme
- NHS England’s menu of support for ICSs
- There are other offers of support available to you, for example forums for ICP chairs or directors - to find out more, email Marnie Ridley.
Frequently asked questions
The integrated care partnership (ICP), the joint committee of the integrated care board, and its partner local authorities and other members is responsible for preparing the integrated care strategy. Integrated care boards (ICBs) and partner local authorities should engage, cooperate, and provide the necessary resources for the preparation of the strategy. Other partners that are appointed to the integrated care partnership should participate fully.
It is the responsibility of the ICP to publish their integrated care strategy and share it with relevant stakeholders, including local authorities and ICBs. The strategy should be accessible to anyone who has contributed to it including people, communities, and organisations.
During the webinar, it was discussed that the level of development of the strategies initially published by ICPs in December would vary. The encouragement from the department, which mirrors the guidance, was to publish a form of your strategy in December to help inform future iterations and cycles.
The integrated care strategy is not ‘signed off’ by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) or NHSE, it should be developed through engagement with ICBs, partner local authorities and wider stakeholders and published and disseminated.
The integrated care strategy guidance encourages ICPs to understand how their strategies feed into the five-year joint forward plan (JFP). Beyond that, during the webinar it was discussed how integrated care strategies can being drafted with a longer-term focus, for example looking ahead to the next ten years.
Integrated care strategies provide an opportunity for systems to draw focus and attention towards the key needs of their local areas. Many inputs can drive this focus, including:
- joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs)
- assessments developed by other providers
- the views of local communities
- wider research and intelligence
To be specific and meaningful to local areas, ICPs are encouraged to engage with a wide group of stakeholders while developing the strategy, especially with those who can be under-represented in assessments of need. These strategies should also build on place plans and priorities, where these already exist or are being developed.
Work is already happening across ICSs to engage with people and organisations. It is important that ICPs build on this work when developing their integrated care strategies. Generally, ICB communication and engagement teams will have an NHSE-approved strategy for this type of engagement.
Some offers of support were provided during the webinar, including:
- Signpost to NHSE guidance on working in partnership with people and communities
- There is a system level VCSE Alliance in all 42 integrated care systems. If you want to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Health and Care Act 2022 says that people who live and work in the area must be involved in the development of the integrated care strategy. The DHSC integrated care strategy guidance sets out which people and organisations should be consulted and suggests which other organisations should be involved. The NHS Confederation and NHS Providers have each produced briefings pulling out what you need to know on the integrated care strategy and health and wellbeing board (HWB) guidance.
We expect ICPs and HWBs to work closely together to ensure alignment between strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of people locally. In most (but not all) areas they will cover a different geographic area, with the ICP covering a larger geographic area.
The integrated care strategy is intended to complement the production of joint local health and wellbeing strategies. It should identify where needs could be better addressed at integrated care system level and bring learning from across places and the system to drive improvement and innovation, for example challenges that could be met by integrating the workforce or considering population health and care needs and services over this larger area.
If you’re looking for further support and guidance on this, the Local Government Association (LGA) have an offer of support for health and wellbeing boards which you can find on the Local Government Association website.
This question also relates to the wider impact of the general engagement of ICBs with the VCFSE sector and building on existing relationships and structures will be important. Ongoing relationships and engagement with the VCFSE sector will be impacted by how the sector is engaged during the development of the integrated care strategy.
There may be local VCFSE infrastructure organisations within Neighbourhoods, Places, or the system who aim to represent the wider sector. These are helpful organisations to link up with. Some helpful questions provided by NHSE in their guide to building strong ICSs everywhere can guide discussions around general VCFSE sector engagement:
- Have you mapped VCSE stakeholders and the contribution and resources brought by the VCSE sector to the ICS?
- Are you building on existing structures and networks, such as VCSE representation on health and wellbeing boards and local VCSE infrastructure organisations?
- Are you being proactive in commissioning VCSE organisations to deliver services, including with innovative approaches to population health management and service transformation?
- Do you have a consistent approach to measuring the impact of VCSE partnerships as part of a wider social value approach?
There will be a webinar on ICBs and VCSE sector alliances on the 8 November, for system executive directors, non-executive directors and managers. Join this interactive webinar to hear from VCSE and NHS colleagues to understand 'community powered health' and how the NHS can work in partnership with VCSE organisations to improve health for local populations.
More generally, this guidance provided by NHSE on building strong ICSs gives helpful information on engaging with the diverse VCSE sector in your area. More guidance can be found in NHSE’s menu of support to help develop a system level VCSE sector alliance or partnership.
We encourage any ICS leaders who use digital tools to engage with partners and stakeholders to get in touch with us, and we can share these insights and suggestions with the group.
Beyond the strategies
In response to this question during the webinar, it was highlighted that provider collaboratives are expected and encouraged to engage with the ICP and support stakeholders in working towards the objectives set in the strategy. Part of the ICPs role in leveraging this support will be to engage with provider collaboratives when developing the strategy.
About the Leading Integration Peer Support (LIPS) Programme
The NHS Confederation, the Local Government Association and NHS Providers have joined forces to deliver a range of free, bespoke support for local health and care systems through the LIPS Programme. Our support will help systems strengthen their leadership and accelerate their partnership ambitions at system, place, and neighbourhood levels. It is independent, ‘from and of the sector’ and includes peer reviews, workshops, critical friend support, mentoring and best practice sharing, all delivered by peers with extensive expertise leading health and care.