Oppose Integrated Care Systems in the English NHS
Motion by: [Name of Branch/CLP]
Date proposed: [date]
This Branch/CLP notes:
- 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 wants new legislation, in the near future, to turn ICSs into legal bodies.
- Despite claiming to ‘integrate’ health and social care services for the benefit of patients, ICSs are actually based on a 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 others, but the plans actually sideline local authorities, threatening the future integrity of social care and reducing local accountability.
- 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, more down-skilling and outsourcing of NHS jobs, reduced services (partially replaced by ‘digital’ options and volunteers) and significant spending cuts.
This Branch/CLP believes:
- The introduction of Integrated Care Systems threatens patient care, jobs, working conditions and the integrity of the NHS as a public service. We must oppose them
- After 30 years of marketisation, it is time to restore the NHS to a fully accountable public service, which is provided free to all at the point of use. This should be in line with the NHS Bill (voted for unanimously at Conference in 2017).
- Labour should commit to a separate, collaborative, publicly funded Social Care Service.
- As suggested by the Local Government Association (LGA) in their response to the ICS consultation: genuinely integrated services would take into account the wider determinants of health, such as housing. This would involve more input from local authorities not less.
This Branch/CLP resolves:
- To alert local councillors and MPs to the threat posed by Integrated Care Systems and the dramatic loss of local accountability.
- To demand an immediate halt to the rollout of ICSs.
- To demand an extended and meaningful consultation with the public and Parliament to decide how health and social care services are provided in England.
- To promote the introduction of legislation to bring about a universal, comprehensive and publicly provided NHS, fit for the 21st century (as set out in the NHS Bill at www.nhsbillnow.org.)