Home / Resources & Guidance / ICS Design Framework – Ensuring the sector’s voice is not lost amidst a changing landscape

Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has responded to NHS England and NHS Improvement’s ICS Design Framework, which sets out the expectations for the next stage of system development. Writing to NHS Director of Systems Partnerships, ICS development, Roger Davidson, last week, Care England laid out some of the concerns, but also positives that it, and its members, had taken from the paper.

In particular, Care England sought to highlight that the voice of the adult social care sector must be accounted for on both the ICS NHS Body and ICS Partnership Body. Covid-19 has shown the fundamental role of the adult social care sector in England’s health and care landscape.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:  

“This document represents an important building block in the future development of Integrated Care Systems. As such, we felt that it was key to respond in writing so that the adult social care sector’s voice is well heard in the future development of the system. Adult social care participation and the clinical expertise which the sector brings should be seen as an asset and not a hindrance. It is only through a truly integrated, inclusive and accountable system that we will erode perceptions of NHS centricity and create a truly collaborative system.”

More broadly, Care England laid out some of the following thoughts when it came to the recently published Design Framework, amongst others:

  • We welcome the proposal that the NHS Body and the Partnership Board should hold meetings in public and publish papers/vision and progress regularly and in an accessible way.
  • The proposed place-based partnerships within ICS areas should also involve independent adult social care providers.
  • We need to see more about how conflicts will be managed for NHS providers and ensure contracts are awarded on a transparent basis, but we also want to know how this will be monitored and how independent sector provider complaints will be addressed.
  • In terms of engagement in the NHS Body, the Partnership Board and the place-based partnership arrangements – if adult social care providers feel they have been left out, what mechanisms to challenge are there?

This forms one element of Care England’s ongoing work around the development of Integrated Care Systems and the Health and Care Bill, more broadly. For too long, the voice of the adult social care sector has not been sufficiently heard in the health and care landscape, something that we are striving to remedy through this workstream. Whilst, at present, many Clinical Commissioning Groups do not pay sufficient dues to the needs of adult social care services in their local areas.

To read Care England’s response to the ICS Design Framework in full, please go to Care England’s Member Area (under the tab ‘policy: consultation, comments and responses’) at Log in | Care England


Notes to editors:

1)       Care England is the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care

2)       For Care England press enquiries related to this release, please contact Antonella Corby (020) 7492 4843 or email acorby@careengland.org.uk or visit www.careengland.org.uk

3)       @CareEngland & @CareEngDigital  #wecareforengland