Closer collaboration comes a step closer

Closer partnership working between health and care services for the benefit of local people has come a step closer with Royal Assent granted for the Health and Care Act 2022.

The completion of the Parliamentary process for the legislation is a welcome and important step on the journey towards the establishment of statutory Integrated Care Systems on 1 July 2022. From this date Integrated Care Systems will move onto a statutory footing with the establishment of Integrated Care Boards (ICB) and Integrated Care Partnerships.

Devon’s ICB will be known as NHS Devon and will be led by a range of people including nurses and doctors alongside senior representatives from hospitals, mental health, social care, GP practices and public health.

This Act will ensure our health and care system emerges stronger from the Covid pandemic. The challenges currently faced by the NHS, local authorities and other partners as we recover from the pandemic are huge. This comes on top of the long-term challenges we face as a country; a growing and ageing population, chronic conditions and inequalities in health outcomes. We are putting in place measures to help people live longer, healthier lives and to create a framework for us to build a safer, stronger and more joined up health and care system that delivers better outcomes for everyone. The Act aims to develop a more seamless health and care service and improve population health, building on several years of practical experience and innovation across the health and care system.

It ensures that every part of England is covered by an Integrated Care System, bringing together NHS, local government, social care providers, charities, and voluntary, community and social enterprise partners to jointly plan and provide health and care services based on the needs of the people in their areas.

Preparatory work to establish Integrated Care Systems and transition to statutory status has been ongoing for some time. This work will continue up to 1 July 2022 when the new arrangements will formally be established and Clinical Commissioning Groups will be abolished.

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