Hertfordshire and West Essex STP granted new ‘Integrated Care System’ status

Health and care organisations from across Hertfordshire and West Essex have been granted new national ‘Integrated Care System’ status. This is in recognition of the considerable partnership work to improve the health and wellbeing of the population.

Integrated Care System (ICS) status is an important step for the Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), which was established in 2016. The Hertfordshire and West Essex ICS will have over-arching responsibility for ensuring that our population get the most from the £3.2bn combined health and care budget and that the skills of the area’s 56,000 health and social care workforce are used most effectively.

The ICS will be responsible for setting the strategy and goals for improving health and care in the area and overseeing the quality and safety, decision making, governance and financial management of services. It will provide clinical and professional leadership for the whole area and ensure that all organisations pull in the same direction to help everyone – residents, service users, patients and staff – to achieve their potential.

The Right Honourable Paul Burstow, Independent Chair of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System said: “Residents have told us that they want their services to ‘focus on my wellness, rather than my illness’. Making this shift requires a shared ambition between the NHS, local government, our community and voluntary sector and the people who live and work here. That is what our partnership and our plans are all about, creating the conditions for everyone to fulfil their potential. In order to ensure a healthier future, we need to act decisively together to create the conditions for everyone to thrive.

Health and care services need to be as convenient as possible – everyone should feel like they are dealing with one system instead of having to repeat their story to a series of different organisations. The years of effort that have brought us to this point have helped our teams and organisations to pull together and support one another. This has been incredibly valuable as everyone has pulled together to meet the challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gaining this national recognition that our area’s many organisations are working in a single-minded, coordinated way to achieve a healthier future for our population is a very significant step. Integrated Care System status puts us in the best possible position to continue to adapt and respond to the threat of Covid19 and accelerate the pace of transformation.”

After more than a year of helping the STP’s organisations reach this point, in conjunction with their substantive roles, the current interim joint leaders of the STP; Iain MacBeath, Director of Adult Care Services at Hertfordshire County Council, and Beverley Flowers, Chief Executive of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, will hand over the permanent leadership of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System to Dr Jane Halpin in June 2020. Dr. Halpin will also lead the area’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Ensuring the effective health and care services are designed and delivered in local communities in line with local needs will be the responsibility of the area’s three geographically-based Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) – East and North Hertfordshire, West Hertfordshire and West Essex.

The area will also have an Integrated Care Partnership for mental health and learning disability in Hertfordshire which will ensure that people with mental ill health or a learning disability get the wrap-around care and support they need. For Essex residents of the STP area, a dedicated mental health and learning disability partnership board will be incorporated at West Essex ICP level.

Ann Radmore, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Regional Director for the East of England, said: “I am delighted that Hertfordshire and West Essex now have greater opportunities to shape their health and care services by working more closely together as an integrated care system. 

Now, more than ever before, patients need to have the right care, at the right time and in the right place and integrated care systems are better able to make this happen. 

I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing the health and social care partners together to better understand and meet the needs of patients in Hertfordshire and West Essex”. 

For further information on the ICS, click here.