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ICBs launch integrated care strategies

ICBs launch integrated care strategies
By Jess Hacker
23 March 2023

A number of integrated care boards (ICBs) have officially launched their integrated care plans, outlining their strategic priorities for the short-term future.

The plans broadly focus on access to primary care, delivering more joined-up care, addressing wider detriments of health, and supporting disadvantaged groups and tackling health inequalities.

South East London ICB has set out a clear priority to improve access to its primary care services, after engagement with its population revealed vulnerable patients struggled to receive care.

The ICB said it will develop ‘measurable targets’ for access for patients with continuing health needs, adding that it will design ‘team-based’ primary, community and social care services to support patients with long-term health conditions.

It added: ‘We will also work with partners on options for reducing severe workforce shortages across many of our primary, community and social care services and for making better use of digital technology, while protecting people’s right to face-to-face appointments and avoiding excluding people who can’t or prefer not to use digital technology.’

Surrey Heartlands ICB has also named mental health as one of its key prevention areas, with a pledge to ‘value and develop’ its mental health workforce.

Key to this is its plan to work with partners to provide support for people with learning disabilities and autism, and for families with children requiring mental health support.

And South Yorkshire ICB stated in its key ambitions that it would increase economic participation among its population.

This ambition includes pledges to offer all care leavers in the area work opportunities in the health and care sector by 2024.

It also includes intentions to reduce the economic inactivity rate in South Yorkshire to less than 20% across its places by 2028/30, and to establish a South Yorkshire Citizens Assembly for climate change.

Coventry and Warwickshire ICB set out its plans to bolster its workforce, with a particular focus on its social care recruitment challenges in light of demand.

The strategy plan outlined the need to support recruitment and business continuity – and make better use of the Government’s Fair Cost of Care fund – in its social care independent, voluntary and community sectors. Most ICBs published their draft plans in December with the view of implementing them by April 2023.

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