On the day briefing: Health and Social Care Select Committee report - integrated care
The Health and Social Care Select Committee (the Committee) has published the report of its inquiry into 'the development of new integrated ways of planning and delivering local health and care services. This timely inquiry focusses on the development of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs). This briefing provides an overview of the Committee's key findings and recommendations.
Summary of key recommendations
- The Government and the NHS must improve how they communicate NHS reforms to the public, making the case for change in the health service, clearly and persuasively.
- The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and national bodies should adopt an evolutionary, transparent and consultative approach to determining the future shape of health and care. The law would need to change to enable the structural integration of health and care.
- The national bodies should clearly define the outcomes they are seeking to achieve for patients by promoting more integrated care, and the criteria they will use to measure this.
- DHSC, NHS England (NHSE), NHS Improvement (NHSI), Health Education England (HEE), Public Health England (PHE) and Care Quality Commission (CQC), should develop a joint national transformation strategy setting out how they will support STPs and ICSs.
- STPs should be encouraged to adopt the principle of subsidiarity so that decisions are made at the most appropriate local level
- ACOs should be introduced in primary legislation as NHS bodies, if a decision is taken, following a careful evaluation of pilots, to extend their use. The national bodies must take proactive steps to dispel misleading assertions about the privatisation and Americanisation of the NHS including the publication of an annual assessment of private sector involvement in NHS care.
- The greatest risks to accelerating progress are the lack of funding and workforce capacity to design and implement change. The Government must recognise the importance of adequate transformation and capital funding in enabling service change. The long-term funding settlement should include dedicated, ring-fenced funding for service transformation and prevention.