• Tara Humphrey

An Introduction to Integrated Care Systems

Updated: Jul 13

The Health and Care Act 2022 is bringing major changes to the NHS in England and creating new structures and systems to support the delivery of health and care.

For Integrated care systems to providers collaboratives, if you are unsure of what is going on…. you’re not alone.

This blog will present the headlines of the new integrated care system we are all part of.

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to keep our blogs up to date and the information presented reflects our knowledge at the time of publishing.



Let's get started!

What is a Clinical Commissioning Group?


Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 and replaced primary care trusts on 1 April 2013. They were clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area.

From a PCN Manager's point of view, this was the main entity that communicated national and local guidance and directives regarding your primary care network.

From July 2022 they were dissolved, and their duties were taken on by the new integrated care systems (ICSs).


What is an Integrated Care System (ICS)?


An Integrated Care System is the collective term for the Integrated Care Board, Integrated Care Partnership, place-based partnerships and provider collaboratives.


As set out by NHS England Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) they have four core purposes;


a) Improve outcomes in population health and healthcare.

b) Tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access.

c) Enhance productivity and value for money.

d) Help the NHS support broader social and economic development


There are 42 Integrated Care Systems in England


What is an Integrated Care Board (ICB)?


An Integrated Care Board (ICB) will take on the NHS commissioning functions of CCGs as well as some of NHS England’s commissioning functions and will be accountable to NHS England for NHS spending and performance.

Staff that were employed by Clinical Commissioning Groups will transfer to ICBs.


What is Integrated Care Partnership (ICP)?


An Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) is a formal alliance and committee of partners with a role in improving the health and wellbeing of their community.

ICPs will bring together a wider range of partners, not just the NHS, to develop a locally determined plan to address the broader health, public health, and social care needs of the population.


The ICB and local authorities will have to consider ICP strategies when making decisions.


What is a Place-Based Partnership (PBP)?


Place-based partnerships are collaborative arrangements involving the organisations responsible for arranging and delivering health and care services in a locality or community. They involve the NHS, local government and providers of health and social care services, including the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, people and communities.


In many cases they include other community partners with a role in supporting the health and wellbeing of the population and addressing health inequalities, such as housing associations, skills and education services, and local businesses.


What is a Provider Collaborative?


Provider collaboratives are partnership arrangements involving at least two trusts working at scale across multiple places, with a shared purpose and effective decision-making arrangements.


Each area will also have an Integrated Care Partnership or ICP, a joint committee that brings together the ICB and their partner local authorities, and other locally determined representatives (for example from health, social care, public health; and potentially others, such as social care or housing providers).


What is a Primary Care Network (PCN)?


A Primary Care Network is a group of general practices and other health and care providers coming together to provide health and care services for their community.


What is an Integrated Neighbourhood Team?


PCNs will be rebranded as Integrated Neighbourhood Teams, where teams from across primary care networks, wider primary care providers, secondary care teams, social care teams, and domiciliary and care staff work together.


For more information on neighbourhood teams, check out Reading The Fuller Stocktake Report | A Guide For PCN Managers.


We hope this helps!




As many of you will know, we provide support to new PCN Managers & Administrators.


If you are involved in PCN Management, this survey is for you.

PCN Administrators, you too!


Please can you complete and share our survey, which closes on the 31st of July.


The aim is to compile the results and produce a report which we will share as widely as possible.


From coaching to courses, our blog, newsletters and The Business of healthcare podcast. We are a small team hugely passionate about Primary Care Networks and the PCN Manager role.


We try to give you as much FREE content as possible alongside our day job of managing Primary Care Networks. To date with have written over 245 blogs, recorded 197 podcasts and produce a weekly newsletter.


If you need support to apply the insights we share, we would love to support you.



I'm Tara; I am the founder of THC Primary Care, an award-winning healthcare consultancy specialising in Primary Care Network Management and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast.


I have over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sectors.


I have managed teams across multiple sites and countries; I have an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care, and I am the author of over 245 blogs.


I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.


Check out......