New ICS implementation guidance is 'positive first step'

The NHS Confederation has responded to new ICS implementation guidance on
effective clinical and care professional leadership.

2 September 2021

Responding to the ICS implementation guidance on effective clinical and care professional leadership, published by NHS England and NHS Improvement, Professor Kiran Patel, clinical lead for the NHS Confederation's ICS Network advisorate, said: "We welcome the publication of this guidance, highlighting the importance of leadership to develop and deliver the transition from CCGs to Integrated Care Systems. We are pleased to see many of our own report’s findings articulated, highlighting the range of clinical representatives we interact with.

"The development of ICSs and collaboration within them, will serve to deliver on quality improvement, financial sustainability and health equity across the populations we serve. Only with excellent leadership and strong partnerships will we deliver what our patients and populations deserve and what our health and social care leaders want to deliver."

Dr Graham Jackson, senior clinical advisor at the NHS Confederation, said: "Clinical leadership is the golden thread that weaves all parts of the ICS together.

"The new guidance rightly reflects that the clinical and care professional leaders of this new ICS health and care portfolio are multi-professional, as well as professionally agnostic, to ensure they represent the full diversity of roles. It will be critical to create the right working culture to recognise the value this diversity of leadership brings.

"However, for the new system to evolve effectively, there’s a need to support leader development by giving them time and space, as well as resources, to enable them to collaborate and innovate to produce the best shared learning and outcomes. This framework is a positive first step to guiding them through this process."

The guidance was informed by two NHS Confederation reports:

Clinical and care professional leadership in integrated care systems

Future systems leadership scoping project