Shropshire Council

The journey to becoming an Integrated Care System (ICS)

25 November 2021 Last updated at 10:20

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out the government’s intention for every part of England to have an Integrated Care System.

Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are partnerships that bring together commissioners and service providers of health services with local authorities and other local partners to plan and design health and care services for their communities.

The aim of an ICS is to improve outcomes in population health, tackle inequalities, provide better value for money, and support social and economic development.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin started operating as an ICS on the 1st April 2021 to plan and work towards becoming a statutory organisation from 1st April next year.

Our partnership consists of the NHS, our local councils, along with the voluntary sector and other core partners involved in transforming the provision of health and care services for people living in the county.

What does this mean for our children and young people with SEND?

Earlier this year, NHSE published the ‘Integrated Care Systems: design framework’ which sets out how partners within an ICS are expected to work together from April 2022.

Statutory responsibility for SEND is expected to transfer, along with all clinical commissioning group (CCG) functions and duties, to ICS bodies when they are established. Statutory duties of CCGs regarding safeguarding, children in care and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will apply to ICSs.

These new partnerships will lead to better outcomes for everyone, including our children and young people with SEND, for a number of reasons including: 

  • Statutory services can work together more easily, with more joined up services
  • Ability to commission at scale
  • Solve common issues together and with people and communities
  • Share good practice
  • A consistent approach across a larger area e.g. in relation to transition and early identification
  • More integrated commissioning and delivery.

As an ICS we have already been working together with partners and people to develop a vision and a set of principles for our learning disability and autism programme which describes what we want to achieve for and with people living with a learning disability and autistic people living with or without a learning disability across all ages. This is important as it provides focus, sets direction and unites everybody with where we want to get to.

It is planned that this vision will be used as a foundation for the health and social care organisations across the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin system to develop their detailed strategies and plans, where these are not already in place or need to be updated.

These will:

  • Be place based.
  • Provide specific, separate plans for both Learning Disabilities and Autism.
  • Provide specific plans for different age groups.
  • Provide the necessary detail of what will be implemented, how and when.

You can read more about our vision on our ICS website

For more information about Integrated Care Systems visit or watch the videos below from NHS England and NHS Improvement: