Integrated Care Systems: design framework
30 June 2022
Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) align partners in order to achieve 3 main points: improve outcomes and tackle inequalities; enhance productivity and make the best use of resources; and, strengthen local communities. You can read more on ICSs in our blog, ‘What is an ICS?’.
In June 2021, The NHS released a design framework around ICSs to align with the NHS Long Term Plan.
The purpose of the ICS design framework
The NHS want local partnerships to thrive under ICSs, and is planning legislative reform to aid the removal of barriers to integrated care. The design framework supports the NHS to deliver the core ICS purpose, as well as placing steps in preparation for their new arrangements.
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Future ambitions outlined in the framework
Aiming to be specific but understandable on the requirements for systems, the framework also defines parameters for tailing to local circumstances, which the NHS believes is essential for success. The ambitions are:
- ICS Partnership – align strategies of partners across each system, as well as their ambitions and purpose
- ICS NHS body – meet the needs of population health, improve the development of culture, aid the transformation of services, allocate resources, ensure improved outcomes for their population are met, and make sure that services can deliver against ambitions
- Governance and management – flexibility to fit the local context of each ICS NHS body
- Partner organisations – need to agree and deliver shared ambitions together
- Good practice – strong leadership, engagement with communities, and maintaining accountability and oversight
- Financial framework – using resources to meet needs, in a flexible manner
- Implement new arrangements – so that ICS NHS bodies are set up and the transition is smooth
Taking a closer look at quality governance in ICSs
Delivering high-quality care is the aim of every healthcare organisation, and the NHS is no different. Along with individual responsibilities of each NHS organisation to deliver quality care, ICS NHS bodies will need to ensure continuous improvements in quality through their statutory duties. They will need to manage quality and safety risks, as well as address inequalities and variation in the delivery of care. The quality of services must be continuously improved, so that service users really benefit.
The data and digital standards required by ICSs
The What Good Looks Like framework supports organisations in how to accelerate digital and data transformation. Experts in this field are essential to the success of ICSs, with the right way to develop digital capabilities determined at a local level.
Clear accountability is required, with oversight and responsibility for partner organisations and services. Information should follow the patient and move through the ICS with them, so that the best decision can be made regarding their care.
Cross-system intelligence to support operational and strategic decisions is required in ICSs. Linked data and a shared analytics resource are needed for cross-system priorities.
Innovative, modern digital systems will be required by ICSs and one of these options is Radar Healthcare. Able to provide complete oversight of quality, compliance and risk, Radar Healthcare is an ideal integrated care system software.
Radar Healthcare can help ICSs meet their digital standards
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