Stop the roll out of Integrated Care Systems in the English NHS (NHS White Paper, Feb 2021)

Why you need to sign our petition

The NHS in England is rapidly being reorganised into 42 regional Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), while the Covid pandemic rages.

These ICSs will strengthen the role of private companies, including US health insurance corporations, in the NHS.

NHS England has asked for legislation to support the role of ICSs and turn them into legal bodies. Proposals in the Government’s NHS White Paper show how these changes will be delivered.

Despite claiming to benefit patients by 'integrating' health and social care, ICSs are actually based on a “population health” model from the United States, which aims to spend less on care.

ICSs will operate with fixed annual budgets for a wide range of health and social care services – based on area-wide targets, rather than providing the care needed by the individuals who live there.

ICSs are supposed to operate as partnerships between the NHS, local authorities and unspecified others, but the plans will actually bind local authorities into NHS priorities, threatening the future integrity of social care and reducing local accountability.

Local authorities will lose the power to refer decisions on Reconfiguration (e.g. service closures) to the Secretary of State.

Some 83 corporations and businesses, including 22 from the US, are getting heavily involved in developing ICSs and may even sit on their boards, putting them in a prime position to make self-serving decisions for the NHS.

Unaccountable ICS board plans will be binding. They will mean more private contracts awarded without safeguards, more down-skilling and outsourcing of NHS jobs, deregulation of professional standards, reduced services (partially replaced by ‘digital’ options and volunteers), data sharing to suit the system, and significant spending cuts.

We demand an immediate halt to the rollout of ICSs across the English NHS.