Responding to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry report on introducing Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), Sarah Walter director of the ICS Network at the NHS Confederation, said:
“The introduction of ICSs was overwhelmingly supported by the sector. With limited resources and ever-increasing demand for health and care, it makes sense for greater collaboration between the NHS, local government and other partners to improve population health, reduce inequalities, improve efficiency and provide a more joined up experience for local communities.
“ICSs were never intended as a silver bullet that will solve all the entrenched challenges facing the NHS and social care. Judging their success on this, and after only seven months since entering the statute books, would be unfair as we know these macro issues require additional investment and support at a national level.
“The committee is right to note that in order to allow these new bodies to thrive, more needs to be done to move NHS and social care away from a constant state of emergency. This means allocating appropriate levels of sustained capital investment, delivering on the workforce strategy, moving away from overly bureaucratic and prescriptive national targets, and bringing an end to the intensifying waves of industrial action where huge amounts of time and resource are having to be set aside to fire-fight.
“Once these issues are resolved we will begin to see more tangible progress on improvements to population health outcomes in the years ahead."