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.


Integrated care terminology:

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: A partnership of NHS, local authority, VCFSE and academic institutions working together on a joint health and care agenda to coordinate services and to plan in a way that will deliver improvements in population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. This is our partnership at system level called Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership. This term has now started to be used in the most recent national guidance. However this is different to how we have used this term previously. It was previously used to describe our five place-based partnerships.  

NHS Integrated Care Board: The most recent national guidance states that this is the new NHS organisation that will be established on 1 April 2022, subject to legislation. We expect this is likely to be known publicly as “NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria”, but this is subject to the legislation being agreed through Parliamentary processes.

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, with a population of up to 500,000. In Lancashire and South Cumbria our five place-based partnerships are Pennine Lancashire, West Lancashire, Fylde CoastMorecambe Bay, Central Lancashire. 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.

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. 

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).


Place based partnership names:

Bay Health and Care Partners: Bay Health and Care Partners is the name of the place-based partnership working together in Morecambe Bay. 

Healthier Pennine Lancashire: Healthier Pennine Lancashire is the name of the place-based partnership working together in in East Lancashire. 

Healthier Fylde Coast: Healthier Fylde Coast is the name for the work being carried out throughout Blackpool and Fylde Coast. 

Our Central Lancashire: Our Central Lancashire is the name for the work being carried out throughout Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble. 

West Lancashire Partnership: West Lancashire Partnership is the name for the work being carried out throughout West Lancashire.


Other acronyms and terms relating to health and care:

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.

Place based commissioning: Commissioners organising themselves so that they collaborate together to address the challenges and improve the health of any defined population.

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. 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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