“It is hoped that in many regions cooperation between health organisations and with social care will be much simplified,” say Hempsons lawyers following the Royal Assent of the Health and Care Bill.
Royal Assent was given on 28 April 2022, bringing the Health and Care Act 2022 into law.
The Act builds on the proposals for legislative change set out by NHS England in its Long Term Plan. Among the most significant changes is the statutory establishment of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) from 1 July 2022, when Integrated Care Boards will replace CCGs. This will sit alongside the creation of Integrated Care Partnerships, and the increased partnership arrangements between the NHS and Local Authority social care provision.
Hempsons describes the Act as “the first major reform of the legal structures of the NHS in a decade”. However, the Act still leaves scope for local variation in how ICBs and ICPs are structured. The final shape of the different bodies, their memberships and how decision making will occur at what level of ICB structures (neighbourhood, place and system) that will finally emerge from region to region remains to be finalised.
Care Home Editor Ailsa Colquhoun addresses the integration issue in her welcome comment in the May/June issue of Care Home Management.
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