Government considering single leader for local NHS and care services

The HSJ has reported that the government are considering a change to a single person being accountable for planning health and care services in each local area under plans being reviewed by government.

Senior sources involved in the work confirmed to HSJ that the proposal could be included in the government’s planned integration white paper, which may be published before Christmas.

HSJ’s sources said a key principle being explored at present was that each local area — referred to as “place” in current reform terminology — would share a person who was accountable for both NHS services (reporting to the NHS integrated care board, part of the integrated care system), and for overseeing social care (for which they would be responsible to their local council).

Many ICSs contain several “places”, which are typically coterminous with the areas covered by upper-tier local authorities responsible for a city, county or borough. It is at ‘place’ level most integration of health and care services is expected to take place.

Full story in HSJ, 24 November 2021