News, Social Care

NCF to help care providers navigate integration

NFC integration resources

The National Care Forum (NCF), the membership organisation for not-for-profit organisations in the care and support sector, has created a range of dedicated resources and information to help social care providers understand, navigate, and improve the integration between health and social care as they prepare for the integrated care systems (ICSs) to go-live on 1 July 2022.

Having now been passed into law, ICSs will be given a statutory underpinning across England as the Health and Care Bill. This partnership model brings together providers and commissioners of NHS services across a specific geographical area with local authorities and other local partners, such as social care and housing, to collectively plan health and care services.

It is a fundamental shift in the way the health and social care system is organised in England – moving away from competition and organisation autonomy to collaboration between health and care organisations to integrate services, reduce health inequalities and improve population health and wellbeing.

The new resources launched by the NCF include:

Definitive, dedicated ICS training: What the social care provider sector can do for the ICS

NCF have partnered with the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) to bring together a dedicated learning and development programme during June and July to support the sector in working with ICSs. The programme aims to enable delegates to engage in long-term partnerships that transform the delivery of health and care, while simultaneously resulting in better integration between social care provider organisations and health. The training will help social care providers:

  • Understand more about ICSs
  • Strengthen their understanding of how to engage with their local ICS
  • Build awareness of the competencies needed to deliver within integrated care settings
  • Identify partnering opportunities and build credibility

A dedicated and facilitated discussion with NHSEI/DHSC and social care providers as part of a listening exercise on Monday 9th May to understand the challenges and successes of engaging with ICSs. The session will aim to achieve agreement to coproduce a model for engagement with the social care provider sector and to think about where efforts would be most effectively focused. This builds on the collaboration between NCF, NHSEI and DHSC over the last few months to support ICS engagement with the social care sector.

An online ‘one stop shop’ on the NCF website that offers a simple overview to ICSs, interactive maps to find out which ICSs operate in any area, key messages to help ICSs understand how social care is central to improving health and care for their local populations and case studies to showcase how engagement can work on the ground to make a difference for people using health and care services.

Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum said that “the introduction of integrated care systems is a major change to the health and social care system in England and as such it is imperative that the social care sector fully understands and engages with the process of transition to this new model of partnership working.

“We have created these resources to support our colleagues from across the sector to strengthen their understanding, upskill their competencies and build their confidence in identifying partnering opportunities that integrate health and care services while improving peoples’ health and wellbeing.”

If you would like to find out more about the resources available on integrated care systems or to attend the training sessions, please visit the NCF website.