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What is an Integrated Care System?

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The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a national ambition for all health and care systems (Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships) to evolve into Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).  

A total of 42 ICSs, which bring together the NHS, local government and other organisations including the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors, will cover the whole of England. 

The NHS Long Term Plan said ICSs would be central to its delivery by bringing together local organisations to redesign care and improve population health, creating shared leadership and action.  

ICSs exist to improve the health of all residents, address the growth of people living with multiple and long term conditions, preventing illness, tackling variation in care and delivering seamless services while getting maximum impact for every pound.  

They enable health and care organisations to join forces and apply their collective strength to addressing their residents’ biggest health challenges, many exacerbated by COVID-19. 

Health and care leaders have said this will be more important going forward as we address health inequalities, recovery of electives (planned hospital appointments) and tackle issues such as mental health problems and obesity. 

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