The culmination of a new ten year 'vision' for the NHS, its underpinning five year delivery plan and the forthcoming green paper for social care provide a pivotal opportunity for local and national health and care organisations to come together and develop a shared ambition for the future underpinned by realistic projections about delivery.  Within this wider discussion, it will be essential for the national bodies to take the opportunity to engage the sector in a debate about the future role and function of STPs and ICSs.

Trusts are fully committed to working collaboratively with local partners to improve population health and to integrate services for patients.  Much of the work being led by ICSs with the support of the national bodies, is breaking new ground and forms the potential for a new relationship where local 'systems' and their component organisations seek a greater degree of autonomy and local flexibility in return for broader responsibilities for resource and performance management. 

However, the policy questions set out in this briefing are designed to explore how we support the whole NHS provider sector, not just those at the forefront, to deliver the benefits of collaboration and integration to their local populations.