The King's Fund has published a new report, Leading for integrated care, written by Nicholas Timmins, Senior Fellow for Policy at the think tank.
The report builds on the 2015 report on The practice of system leadership, and includes interviews with 16 people who lead or chair an integrated care system (ICS) or sustainability and transformation partnership (STP).
Leading for integrated care explores the progress, challenges and opportunities this new way of working presents to those tasked with taking it forward. It also highlights system leaders’ views on legislative change and how this might support progress.
The report has found that the NHS Long-Term Plan has reinforced the role of ICSs in establishing more collaborative working and joined-up care for patients and their local populations.
ICSs will cover the whole of England by 2021 and, as these systems evolve, strong leadership is needed to bring NHS, local authority, private and third sector organisations together, says The King's Fund. The interviews carried out with the chairs and leads of both ICSs and the remaining STPs found that, while progress is being made in this area, there are also a number of challenges.
During the interviews, these leaders were clear about the skills needed to create an ICS, but issues around governance, accountability, whether legislation is needed and the pipeline of future system leaders remain. System leaders also had concerns about future relations with ‘the centre’ and the regulators, the pace of change and on how far a collaborative and voluntary approach can be the key to success.
The full report is available on the King's Fund website.