Care England has composed its response to NHS England and NHS Improvement's ICS Design Framework, which sets out proposed system development. Writing to NHS Director of Systems Partnerships, ICS development, Roger Davidson, last week, Care England laid out some concerns, but also positives that it, and its members, had taken from the paper.
In particular, Care England highlighted in its response to the ICS Design Framework that the voice of the adult social care sector must be accounted for on both the ICS NHS Body and ICS Partnership Body. COVID-19 has emphasised the role of the adult social care sector in England's health and care landscape.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said, 'This document represents an important building block in the future development of Integrated Care Systems. As such, we felt that it was key to respond in writing so that the adult social care sector's voice is well heard in the future development of the system. Adult social care participation and the clinical expertise which the sector brings should be seen as an asset and not a hindrance. It is only through a truly integrated, inclusive and accountable system that we will erode perceptions of NHS centricity and create a truly collaborative system.'
Care England's response also laid out some of the following points when it came to the recently published ICS Design Framework, amongst others:
- It welcomes the proposal that the NHS Body and the Partnership Board should hold meetings in public and publish papers/vision and progress regularly and in an accessible way.
- The proposed place-based partnerships within ICS areas should also involve independent adult social care providers.
- More needs to be seen about how conflicts will be managed for NHS providers and how contracts will be awarded on a transparent basis. How this will be monitored and how independent sector provider complaints will also need to be addressed.
- If adult social care providers feel they have been left out of engagement in the NHS Body, the Partnership Board and the place-based partnership arrangements, what mechanisms to challenge are there?
This forms one element of Care England's current work around the development of Integrated Care Systems and the Health and Care Bill. To read Care England's response to the ICS Design Framework in full, go to Care England's Member Area.