National Voices responds to NHSE consultation on integrated care

Mon, 11 January 2021

National Voices welcomed the opportunity to give our views on the NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) consultation on proposals for Integrated Care Systems.

We have discussed our response with a small number of members and other sector stakeholders; the timing of the consultation over the Christmas period made it impossible to engage more formally and fully with our membership. 

We are reassured that NHSEI have signalled that they will seek further input from us and our members once they have heard from all respondents and as they aim to contextualise their legislative proposals with more concerted efforts to support partnership working.  

National Voices is fully supportive of the overall policy aim to drive forward a more place-based, coordinated and integrated design and delivery of health and care services and functions. Our vision is of all organisations with a stake in the health of their communities working together. Removing obstacles to this way of working is important. Supporting organisational, system and community leaders with new ways of working is even more crucial, since these changes often go against the grain of NHS management and organisational culture.

We are sceptical about the impact structural and legislative changes have on the way the NHS actually works, and in particular how citizens, communities and patients actually experience NHS care. And we are disappointed that the consultation document is largely silent on the need to ensure substantial, consistent and meaningful input of communities, citizens and their organisations in the governance, design and delivery of health and care services and functions.

We are concerned that the move to systems, as understood by the NHS, risks leaving behind existing engagement mechanisms and leaves communities and their organisations stranded where their footprints and relationships are not reflected in the size and structures of ‘systems’.

For our complete response and a look at some of these issues in greater detail please see the document attached to this webpage.