Integrated Care Systems

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2022 National Retired Members Conference
29 June 2022

This conference notes that the Government’s new Health and Care Act has introduced Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) into 42 areas of England, which became fully operational in July 2022. Under the Health and Care Act, the former Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been absorbed into the ICSs – specifically into their Boards (ICBs). Each ICB will take on the commissioning and funding responsibilities that formerly sat with their local CCGs. ICBs will also be responsible for broader aims such as strategic planning for their area.

This conference notes with concern that the Government’s Health and Care Act removes Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which previously forced CCGs to competitively tender for contracts, and that the proposed replacement – the Provider Selection Regime – could allow for contracts to be handed out without proper scrutiny.

This conference therefore agrees to call on the Retired Members Committee to campaign, in conjunction with all appropriate organisations such as the National Pensioners Convention and Labour Link to stop the consequences of this legislation, calling for:

· A commitment that the ICSs will maintain a comprehensive health service, free at the point of need, accessible to anyone at the time when they need health care or treatment, with priority based on clinical need.

· The ICSs will not include representatives from private sector organisations on any ICB or committees, or any bodies with delegated powers from the ICB.

· A commitment that NHS providers are the default providers of health services, care and treatment, and that as contracts with private sector companies come up for renewal the default position be that these are awarded to NHS providers.

· Any contracts continuing to be awarded to the private sector must be vigorously scrutinised with Compulsory Competitive Tendering, to ensure that these are conducted in a transparent and accountable manner.

· That hospital patients are entitled to a full assessment of their ongoing medical and social care needs, with referrals being made to the appropriate agencies, to ensure care services are in place prior to discharge. including a thorough assessment of their ongoing needs and support as a fundamental objective of the discharge policy of the ICS

· In addition to this, ensuring that consultation and assessment of their careers’ needs and role are undertaken.

· That independent annual reviews are undertaken in relation to workforce shortages.

· Resistance to changes that lead to the de-professionalisation and deregulation of the health workforce, and the substitution by less qualified staff taking on clinical roles, which is putting profits before the needs of people, as has already been demonstrated by the Operose GP practices across the country