ACSs get a rebrand as NHS England seeks ‘next cohort’

NHS England has rebranded accountable care systems as integrated care systems, and said they will replace sustainability and transformation partnerships.

Planning guidance for 2018-19 from NHS England and NHS Improvement today said ICS will now be the “collective term” for the devolved health and care systems in Greater Manchester and Surrey Heartlands, as well as the eight shadow accountable care systems.

It follows controversy about the term “accountable care”.

The document said that the eight shadow ICSs would not be “considered ready to go fully operational” until they produce a single system operating plan for the coming financial year. These plans should “align key assumptions on income, expenditure, activity and workforce” and system leaders within the ICS are expected to take an “active role in this process”.

It also confirmed that NHS England is still accepting bids from areas that wish to be included in the “next cohort of ICSs” and intends to have reviewed all applications by March 2018. NHS England had discussions with several areas last year about becoming part of a second wave – HSJ reported this week that the wave had been delayed from early 2018.

Article from HSJ, 2 February 2018