The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has published a report into new partnerships aimed at delivering joined-up health and care services which calls for the Government and NHS England to address key concerns if these partnerships are to genuinely improve health and care services for people throughout England.
The inquiry found genuine enthusiasm for the potential of the new local partnerships, called Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), to deliver on challenges facing the health and care sectors. However, MPs warn of a serious lack of clarity in some areas with risks that acute short-term pressures could be given priority over longer term ambitions such as preventing ill-health.
Sarah McClinton, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services commented, “The Committee’s report hits the nail on the head. Integrated Care Systems have the potential to create the sort of health and care system we need, where we prevent ill health by providing high quality, timely care and support when people need it in their homes and their community. But these reforms could easily be derailed. MPs are right to challenge the NHS and the Government to focus targets on outcomes and not try to dictate from the top-down what activities should be prioritised.”
“Critically, the Government needs to ensure that Integrated Care Systems are not just left to deal with the immediate crisis in health and social care. We look forward to the publication of the forthcoming Hewitt Review the Government has commissioned on making Integrated Care Systems achieve their potential. We hope it contains a similarly robust set of actions to ensure that Integrated Care Systems help build the health and care system we all need.”