What is an Integrated Care Provider?

What is an Integrated Care Provider

We provide a wide range of healthcare services in Sunderland. Strengthening the links between community-based health and working with social care providers is the best way to protect local services, deliver better outcomes for patients and improving access to services in the future.

To secure the joining up of services to date, and to ensure more and more services are joined up in the future, NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is now looking at progressing an Integrated Care Provider.

The aim is to improve the quality and efficiency of out of hospital services through the sharing of resources, records, data and information. Instead of being passed from one service to another and telling your story numerous times, the CCG would like a wider range of services to work together to provide the community with a more efficient, joined up system of care.

The ICP success, in part, will be based on the development of strong local relationships with, and trust from, the community it serves.

It will incorporate mental as well as physical health services, and will be expected to work with social care and public health services, wherever this makes sense and adds value. Following ongoing service reviews it may also expand to incorporate some services that are currently based in hospitals, such as some outpatient clinics or some care for frail and older people. It is likely to include:

  • Community nursing
  • Urgent care (non-life threatening cases where the patient needs to be seen the same day)
  • Ambulatory care (emergency care that can be treated without an admission to hospital)
  • Some outpatient appointments
  • Therapies (such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy)
  • Rehabilitation services (support to help people remain as independent as possible)
  • Community bed based services (short stay beds to support patients as they work towards returning to their own homes and preventing them needing an admission to hospital)
  • Enhanced care in care homes (to improve quality of life, healthcare and health planning for people living in care homes)
  • Mental health, learning disabilities and autism

Each GP practice can decide how they wish to become involved with the ICP – either by signing an agreement about how they will work together, or moving the practice to become part of the ICP.  For this to work, we need to have GP practices involved.

The purpose of the ICP is to ensure that our care system is fit to meet patients’ future needs, delivering the effective, efficient and seamless care that the local population deserves. To achieve this it must work towards a service which focuses on:

  • Improving care quality including safety, clinical effectiveness and patient experience
  • Improving health and wellbeing
  • Creating a more sustainable health and care system

Background to Integrated care provider model

Integrated care provider lead provider model has evolved from the consideration of ‘Accountable Care Organisations’ first highlighted in the NHS England’s Five Year Forward View (2014)

It was initially intended that regulatory changes would be introduced by February 2018, but this was delayed until NHS England undertook a wider consultation on the contract. This also allowed the publication of the UK government’s Health and Social Care Committee’s report into ACOs (published in June 2018), and the conclusion of two judicial reviews against the contract (concluded in May and July 2018 respectively) both of which were rejected).

The proposed introduction of ACOs in the NHS in England has generated some commentary as to a potential increase in private sector involvement, in part due to the model’s origin in the American healthcare system. This interpretation has been disputed by the UK Government and by the Health and Social Care Committee. Read the  House of Commons briefing on accountable care organisations.

The NHS Long Term Plan published January 2019 clarified how integrated care could be progressed via an Integrated Care Provider arrangement. *The sentence here originally stated that a lead Integrated Care Provider arrangement would only be awarded to an NHS provider trust. This was a mistake based on initial understanding of such an arrangement and has therefore been removed.* (Updated on 09/03/21).