A twelve-point plan for ICSs

By Phil Hope and Steve Barwick | 04 July 2022

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and former Secretary of State for Health, chaired the  latest Health Devolution Commission which examined how Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) might best approach their new responsibilities for reducing population health inequalities and improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

It also shone a light on why ICSs should give parity to mental health services and provide support for people with learning disabilities. Twelve recommendations emerged from the excellent presentations and ensuing debate.

First, ICSs need to adopt a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach by to tackle the social determinants of ill-health. This is essential if there is to be a significant reduction in health inequalities and should be developed at every level – local, city, region, national and supra-national.

The Commission also agreed that much more must be done nationally in the UK, underpinned by law, to reverse the last decade’s shocking decline in health equality if ICSs are to succeed in this goal.

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