Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Mencap welcomes recommendations from the independent review of ICSs

Mencap have welcomed new recommendations set out in the independent review of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and said the right community support could prevent ‘terrible outcomes’ for people with a learning disability.

The charity added the importance of joined-up health and social care for people with a learning disability cannot be overestimated as currently people are experiencing a worrying postcode lottery with differing outcomes in different ICSs.

Chaired by former Health Secretary, Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt, the independent review of ICSs looked at how the NHS, local government, social care providers, charities and other partners could be brought together to effectively deliver on four goals:

  • Improving outcomes in population health and healthcare
  • Tackling inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • Enhancing productivity and value for money
  • Helping the NHS support broader social and economic development

The report concluded that ICSs are the best opportunity to transform the health and care system for this generation. But realising their potential requires fundamental change.

Boosting social care workforce

Dan Scorer, Head of Policy, said that with a deficit of over 165,000 care workers, measures to monitor and boost the workforce will be essential to help ensure this strategy and all the other recommendations in the review are properly implemented.

He added: “A lack of early interventions and the right community support can lead to terrible outcomes; in some of the most tragic cases people with a learning disability and/or autistic people are being inappropriately admitted to mental health hospitals after not getting the right support in their community.

It is crucial the government, NHS England and ICSs focus on building the right support with a focus on early intervention and prevention but we cannot do this without the government addressing the ongoing workforce issues and the underfunding of the system.”

ICSs were introduced across England in 2022, bringing together the NHS, local government, and other partners together to improve the health and care of the people who live and work in their area

The Health and Social Care Secretary commissioned Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt to lead the independent review in November 2022, asking her to consider how the oversight and governance of these systems can best enable them to succeed.

Everyone needs to change, and everyone needs to play their part

The review covered ICSs in England and the NHS targets and priorities for which ICBs are accountable, including those set out in the government’s mandate to NHS England.

Drawing on the insights of leaders from across the NHS, local government, social care providers, the charitable and the voluntary and social enterprise sector the review looked at how best to empower local leaders to focus on improving outcomes for their populations.

Organisations representing patients as well as experts in academia and think tanks also fed into the call for evidence which received more than 400 responses.

Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt, said: “Integrated Care Systems represent the best opportunity in a generation for the urgently needed transformation that we need in our health and care system. Everyone wants them to succeed. To fulfil their potential, however, we need not only to back our new structures, but also to change our culture. Everyone needs to change, and everyone needs to play their part.

“My recommendations are intended to help the health and care system make those changes – and I hope that ministers, NHS England and others will feel able to take them forward.”

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More