Report

The role of primary care in integrated care systems

This report sets out the views of primary care members on the underpinning principles needed for strong primary care involvement at system and place.

27 May 2021

Read The role of primary care in integrated care systems External link icon

Overall, our members welcome the direction of travel signalled in the government’s white paper on health and care reform in England. However, over 50 per cent of primary care leaders and managers surveyed for this report stated that they were ‘unclear’ or ‘very unclear’ about the role of primary care networks within integrated care systems.

Key points

  • Overall, our members welcome the direction of travel signalled in the government’s white paper on health and care reform in England. However, over 50 per cent of primary care leaders and managers surveyed for this report stated that they were ‘unclear’ or ‘very unclear’ about the role of primary care networks within integrated care systems.
  • Many of the proposals have the potential to bring the healthcare system closer to being truly population health focused and reflective of local need. However, this will only be achieved with ongoing and meaningful engagement with primary care and adequate resourcing of primary care leadership.
  • Our members have set out five key requirements they want to see in the development of ICS structures, governance and, most importantly, culture. This includes: collective voice and representation for primary care at system level; processes and structures for primary care at place level; system priorities that reflect local neighbourhood needs; systems that promote collaboration and enablers that equip primary care for system working.
  • We look forward to seeing these reflected in national guidance for systems, and working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to showcase examples of good practice.