Integrated Care Systems

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2023 National Delegate Conference
14 February 2023
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the government’s new Health and Social Care Act introduced Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) into 42 areas of England, which became fully operational in July 2022. Under the act, former Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) 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.

Conference notes with concern that the Act removed section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 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.

Conference therefore agrees to call on the National Executive Council to campaign with all appropriate organisations to stop the consequences of this legislation, calling for:

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

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

3)A commitment that National Health Service (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;

4)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;

5)That hospital patients are entitled to a full assessment of their ongoing medical and social care needs, with referrals being made to 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;

6)In addition to this, ensuring that consultation and assessment of their carer’s needs and role are undertaken;

7)That independent annual reviews are undertaken in relation to workforce shortages;

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