Glossary of terms

On this website and in our documents we have tried to use plain English to make them as easy to understand as possible. It is important that to achieve our ambitions of developing strong partnerships across Lancashire and South Cumbria and in our local places that we use common language.

It is important to note that over the past four years, as partnerships and new ways of working have been developed, the language used by partners has been evolving and often changing. We recognise this is unhelpful and causes confusion for members of staff, partners and members of the public.

The development of new legislation provides an opportunity to reduce this confusion and create greater consistency across England. More information about the development of integrated care is available on the NHS England website (opens in a new window). As a result, in Lancashire and South Cumbria, we are making steps to align with the national language and terminology. This has the potential to cause some confusion in the short term. This list of terminology aims to help reduce confusion and we will keep this up-to-date as new guidance and legislation is developed and approved nationally and locally.

Download a diagram of the Integrated Care System (designed to be printed)


Integrated care terminology:

Anchor institution: This refers to large, public sector organisations whose long-term sustainability is tied to the wellbeing of the populations they serve. Anchor institutions, who are rooted in their local communities, can positively contribute to their local area in many ways such as: widening access to quality work for local people; buying more from local businesses; reducing our environmental impact; using buildings and spaces to support communities; working more closely with local partners.

Clinical commissioning groups: Clinically-led statutory NHS bodies which, under the Health and Care Act 2022 closed down on 30 June 2022 and their functions transferred to Integrated Care Boards.

Fragile services: Services which are at risk of being unsustainable because of lack of staff or other resources.

Health and Care Act 2022: A new law regarding health and social care provision which originated in the House of Commons in July 2021 and completed the Parliamentary process in April 2022. Amongst other things, the new legislation aims to tackle health inequalities and create safer, more joined-up services that will put the health and care system on a more sustainable footing. 

Health inequalities: The unfair and unacceptable differences in people’s health that arise because of where we are born, grow, live, work and age.

Integrated Care System (ICS): Refers to the health and care system across Lancashire and South Cumbria. There are 42 ICSs across the country. Within each ICS there is an Integrated Care Partnership and an Integrated Care Board. 

Integrated Care Partnership: The broad alliance of organisations and representatives concerned with improving the care, health and wellbeing of the population, jointly convened by local authorities and the NHS. In Lancashire and South Cumbria, this is known as the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership. This term is now used in national guidance. However, this is different to how we have used this term previously. It was previously used to describe our place-based partnerships.  

Model of care: This broadly defines the way health and care services are organised and delivered.

Neighbourhoods: Based on local populations of between 30,000 and 50,000. Neighbourhoods, in some instances, may align with Primary Care Networks and Integrated Care Communities.

Networked services: This describes the way a clinical service works in a joined-up way across multiple sites or organisations. Often a clinical network will have one clinical lead who oversees the whole service.

Integrated Care Board: Under the Health and Care Act 2022, this is the new NHS organisation that was established on 1 July 2022 - NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board. CCGs closed down and their functions transferred to the new organisation, which is responsible for NHS spend and the day-to-day running of the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Place-based partnerships: Planners and providers working together across health, local authority and the wider community, to take collective responsibility for improving the health and wellbeing of residents within a place. For information on our place-based partnership click here. It’s important to note that 'Integrated Care Partnership' is now being used to describe the partnership at Lancashire and South Cumbria level in the latest national guidance

Primary care: Primary care is the first point of contact for healthcare for most people. It is mainly provided by GPs (general practitioners) but community pharmacists, opticians, dentists and other community services are also primary healthcare providers.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs): GP practices working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in groups of practices. PCNs build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. Find out more on PCNs on the NHS England website (opens in a new window)

Provider Collaborative: Service providers will be collaborating at the various different levels of system, place and neighbourhood according to need. National guidance, Working together at scale: Guidance on Provider Collaboratives has been published and a Provider Collaborative Board (PCB) has been established to enable partnership working of the acute, mental health and community providers across Lancashire and South Cumbria. Find out about the Provider Collaborative in Lancashire and South Cumbria. The organisations that are involved as part of the collaborative are:

  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Population health management: This uses data and an understanding of local populations to identify those who are at risk in order to proactively plan and deliver care.

Social value: This is about how we secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits for our population in addition to providing health and care. As anchor institutions we want to make the greatest positive impact possible on the lives of our communities to improve health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities.

Specialised commissioning: Planning and buying specialised services which support people with a range of rare and complex conditions, for example, rare cancers, genetic disorders or complex medical or surgical conditions.

Wider determinants of health: The diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors which influence people’s mental and physical health. These include employment, housing, crime, education, air quality, access to green spaces and access to health and care services, among other things.


Other acronyms and terms relating to health and care:

VCFSE: VCFSE stands for voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector. There are thousands of voluntary sector organisations working across Lancashire and South Cumbria. This sector are valued members of the partnership with a shared ambition to be an equal partner within the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership. Find out more about VCFSE partnerships in Lancashire and South Cumbria. Nationally the sector is often refered to VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) sector. 

CQC: The Care Quality Commission (opens in a new window) monitor, inspect and regulate health and social care services. They then publish their findings, including ratings to help people choose care. 

The King's Fund - the Health and Care Bill: six key questions

In this article, The King's Fund describes what the new system will look like:

The Health and Care Bill - six key questions


If you have heard or read a term or phrase which is not on this list that you would like explaining, please email

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