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Take a look at our frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs)

These FAQs were last updated on 25 June 2021

The ICP basics

What does ICP stand for and what is an ICP?

ICP stands for Integrated Care Partnership. ICPs are formal partnerships of provider organisations working together to deliver care by collaborating rather than competing.

Why is integration between providers required?

‘Integration’ means coordinating services around people’s needs, and making it easy for them to get the range of support they need. In the background, it may involve lots of different organisations working together, but for the person using a health and care service it should feel like a joined-up and continuous care experience.

We believe integration is fundamental to how we re-design health and care services as it will mean a better experience for people and there is evidence to suggest it will result in better outcomes too.

What is the relationship between the Integrated Care System (ICS) and ICPs?

The ICPs will sit within the Integrated Care System (ICS) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), known as Healthier Together. Healthier Together is a partnership of 10 organisations – including NHS organisations and our three Local Authorities – whose role is to improve health and care for everyone in BNSSG.

It’s essentially a three-tiered model as follows:

  1. System: Integrated Care System (ICS) level – setting and leading overall strategy, working at large scale.
  2. Place: Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) level – where the majority of changes to clinical services will be designed and delivered, providers working together to join up services or form alliances.
  3. Neighbourhood: Primary Care Networks (PCN) level – where GPs and community-based services work together to deliver coordinated, proactive care and support.

What are the main objectives of an ICP?

Each ICP will have collaboration at its heart, with a shared common purpose to: improve the health and care of the people they serve, integrate services for the benefit of the local population and reduce health inequalities.

The aim is to increase the number of years people in BNSSG live in good health and help create communities that are positive places to live. ICPs will move towards delivering more care within a community setting – making use of hospitals only when really needed.

This will enable people to receive the best preventative, proactive and personalised care, while also making it easier for staff to work together from across a wide range of organisations.

What areas do ICPs cover? 

There will be six ICPs across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). The six areas for these will be: Bristol: Inner City & East, Bristol: North & West, Bristol: South, North Somerset: Weston & Worle, North Somerset: Woodspring and South Gloucestershire.

What organisations are involved?

ICPs will be established by working with a number of local organisations and the partnerships will likely include GP services, social care and voluntary sector providers, community services, councils, mental health services and NHS hospitals.

What does it mean for me as a...

A local person? 

Integrated Care Partnerships will aim to make the transition between services seamless, so you do not have to keep repeating your story between different teams. You will have a personalised care plan based on your needs and taking account of your mental, social, emotional and physical needs.  Equal importance will be placed on mental and physical health.

Care will be delivered closer to home, meaning you will only have to go to hospital when really necessary.

ICPs are being developed in partnership and we will be looking for people to contribute their ideas and experiences to help make sure these new ways of working meet people’s needs.

If you are a carer you can expect to be supported with more coordinated care services. Care planners will be responsible for ensuring personalised care plans for people are met. You will provided with a named contact and information on how to access the wider team.

A GP? 

Primary care has been preparing over the last three years to take its place at the heart of ICPs through the development of integrated localities, with GPs taking a leading role.

The ICPs will be a formal way for you to lead, coordinate and plan care for your communities, permitting larger health and social care providers to plug services into ICPs, closer to the people you serve.

Someone working or volunteering in a VCSE organisation? 

ICPs will form care teams that will bring together NHS, local authority, Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE), and lived experience partners to provide people with wraparound, flexible support.

We recognise the strengths of VCSEs in their ability to hear from populations, tailoring services to groups, reducing inequalities and capitalising on local community assets and so you will be an integral part of realising ICPs success.

A member of staff working for a local authority or provider organisation?

Staff from across our Integrated Care System organisations will play a vital role in bringing expertise on a range of topics to help shape and deliver Integrated Care Partnerships.

The ICPs should support your ability to work even more closely with colleagues from other organisations – bringing together all the necessary skill sets to support individuals with their health and care needs.


When will ICPs be launched?

In April 2021, it was agreed that six ICPs will cover BNSSG. This builds on many years of work to develop integrated community localities covering the same areas. It is hoped that each ICP will be fully developed and operational by April 2022. This timeline is important as it will mean ICPs will be ready to respond to requirements to deliver new community mental health services by April 2022.

Community mental health

What are the timelines for the community mental health service response, award and go live?

The Target Operating Model (TOM) for Integrated Community Mental Health Services was issued to shadow ICPs on the 7 June 2021. Throughout summer to autumn, there will be a period of dialogue, design and response.

ICPs will provide an initial response to the TOM in late September, with final responses due mid-November.

It is hoped that the ‘mobilisation’ phase will start in early 2022, with the new community mental health services going live in April 2022.

If you have a different question, please send us a message today...