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Locality asset reviews

We work with leaders to ensure local systems have the time, resources and flexibility they need to develop credible plans. We promote a spirit of genuine partnership and that local authorities are fully involved from the outset.

There is a good case to be made for creating new system-wide plans. NHS planning needs to be based on a realistic assessment of the resources available, and it is logical to do this at the level of local systems rather than individual organisations to align priorities and spending decisions.

Our work with local systems has highlighted the value of local authority involvement and leadership, including a stronger connection with local communities, closer working across health and social care, and opportunities to act on the wider determinants of health. ICSs and STPs will only be able to realise the ambition of integrating care and improving population health if their primary focus is outwards towards local partners and residents, rather than upwards towards the asks of national NHS bodies. While the letter communicating the plans highlights the importance of developing plans with ‘the proper engagement of all parts of local systems’, its origin and tone are firmly NHS-focused. Let’s hope this is not a sign of things to come.

The focus of STPs has shifted away from the production of nationally mandated plans, towards building partnerships between NHS organisations, local authorities and wider partners. Progress varies widely across the country, but those that are furthest ahead have developed new ways of collaborative working and have begun to put in place new service models to strengthen and integrate primary and community services.

We have achieved this in local systems by giving priority to strengthening relationships and trust between partner organisations and their leaders, and the leadership of local authorities has often been key. Areas leading the development of ICSs have benefited from an unusually permissive approach from national policy-makers, giving them significant latitude to shape their systems and priorities locally.

We aspire to roll out the unique delivery model we have developed to help ICSs deliver a truly integrated and comprehensive care model.

Sector Lead

Mark Simpson, Director

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