Health and Care Bill receives Royal Assent to become part of UK law

Date posted: 6th May 2022

The Health and Care Bill 2021 has completed the Parliamentary process and received Royal Assent, meaning it will form part of UK law.

This is a welcome and important step on the journey towards establishing Integrated Care Systems on a statutory footing, which will take place on 1 July 2022.

The new Act of Parliament introduces measures to tackle the COVID-19 backlogs and rebuild health and social care services from the pandemic. It also 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.

Integrated care is about giving people the support they need, joined up across local councils, the NHS, and other partners. Our health is affected by many things – housing, unemployment, financial stress, domestic abuse, poverty and lifestyle choices. This is something that we need to look at through a partnership between the NHS, local government and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector and wider health and care partners.

Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, we have been working for a number of years with our local partners to join up services and improve the care that our communities receive and we want to build on this excellent work. This includes further strengthening the incredible joint working we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made a massive difference to the lives of local people and their families.

The new legislation supports us to do this even more, through the establishment of a statutory Integrated Care System (ICS).

ICSs are designed to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups.

Within an Integrated Care System, there are three levels; neighbourhood, place and system.

Neighbourhood level services are those outside of a hospital such as GPs, opticians, dentists and community pharmacies working together to deliver primary care. They will all work together in a small local area, to form a primary care network. All doctors and primary care professionals will be part of one of these networks, and it means they can share resources to better help patients locally. 

Place covers a wider area and will include several neighbourhoods. This is where most health and care services will be delivered, including hospital care. Place-based partnerships are made up of local hospitals, care providers, local councils, doctors and the voluntary sector coming together to discuss key health and care issues in their place. 

The system, also referred to as the Integrated Care System (ICS), is a key enabler for the integration of local services. The ICS is made up of two key bodies: 

Integrated care partnership – this links together all the wider health and care partners including the voluntary sector, employment and health across Lancashire and South Cumbria. The partnership will use information gathered from each of the partners about the local population to create a strategy for helping everyone who lives in the system area to live healthily. Locally, we refer to this as Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership.

Integrated care board - the newly passed legislation means that a new Integrated Care Board (ICB), known publicly as NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria, will be set up from 1 July 2022. This will mean that the eight Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Lancashire and South Cumbria will be closed down and the functions from the CCGs will be transferred to NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria.

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria will be responsible for NHS spend and the day-to-day running of the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Key roles for NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria have been confirmed as David Flory CBE, ICB Chair Designate and Kevin Lavery, ICB Chief Executive Designate. Four senior roles have also been confirmed as Dr David Levy, James Fleet, Sarah O’Brien and Sam Proffitt. Five non-executive members have also been appointed.

Preparations for closing down the CCGs and setting up the new organisation have been underway for a number of months and senior leaders are ensuring this happens in line with guidance published nationally.

There will be no change to how local residents access NHS frontline services in Lancashire and South Cumbria as part of these changes.

Find out more about the developments of integrated care [opens in a new window]

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