Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs)
Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs)
Integrated Care Partnerships, or ICPs, are playing a key role in how health and social care services in Northern Ireland are being transformed. They are helping to change the way care is delivered.
There are a total of 17 ICPs, collaborative networks of care providers, bringing together healthcare professionals (including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and hospital specialists); the voluntary and community sectors; local council representatives; and service users and carers, to design and coordinate the delivery of local health and social care services.
What are Integrated Care Partnerships?
Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) are collaborative networks of service providers. They include healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and hospital specialists; the voluntary and community sectors; local council representatives; and service users and carers.
Through working together ICPs aim to improve how local services are designed and co-ordinated for the benefit of patients and service users in local communities.
They are charged with delivering more integrated care for frail older people and those with specific long-term conditions, such as respiratory disease, diabetes and stroke. They also work to prevent hospital admission by identifying patients most at risk and proactively work across health and social care to develop strategies to manage their health and social care needs.
Why are there 17 Integrated Care Partnerships?
17 Integrated Care Partnerships are working throughout Northern Ireland across the five Local Commissioning Group (LCG) areas to ensure coverage of all GP practices. Each ICP is based around natural geographies of approximately 100,000 people and 25-30 practices.
What is the purpose of ICPs?
ICPs support the vision to make home and the community the hub of care. They also aim to ensure that services are personalised and seamless; empower patients; promote health; and prevent illness, where possible.
Focusing on services for the frail elderly, and long term conditions including respiratory conditions, diabetes and stroke, they address the entire care pathway for each of these patient groups, from prevention through to end of life care, and look at how care can be improved.
ICPs have brought together a range of providers from across the health and social care system to review how care is being delivered for each of these patient groups and to consider how services could be improved and better coordinated.
The ICP partnership committees are responsible for four key aspects of improving care for the priority groups:
- Risk stratification – identifying and targeting care to those most in need.
- Information sharing – supporting care providers to work better together.
- Care pathways – looking at how care is planned and delivered.
- Evaluation – reviewing the work of ICPs to ensure benefits are achieved.
This is known as the RICE agenda.
How are ICP services commissioned/funded?
ICPs do not have a commissioning role. If funding is needed to implement changes ICPs develop business cases that identify the resources required to better integrate services in line with regional commissioning specifications for each of the clinical priority areas.
Those business cases are reviewed and scrutinised by Local Commissioning Groups (LCGs), committees of the Department of Health.
The implementation of proposals developed by ICPs, and agreed by Local Commissioning Groups, has taken place across all areas.
A significant number and range of projects have been delivered and work is underway to enable the spread of that learning across the HSC.
Work includes significant improvements in care quality and cost savings in a range of projects including nurse home in reach services, acute care at home, reductions in diabetes related amputations and rapid access to respiratory care.
Some of the achievements to date include: a social prescribing pilot in the West; diabetes community service in Belfast and a falls prevention initiative, developed in one ICP area and now operating across all ICP areas.
Benefits of Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs)
ICPs are enabling local health and social care professionals, voluntary and community sector organisations, local councils and service users and carers to work more closely together than ever before.
This collaborative approach to designing and providing more integrated services is helping to:
- make sure each person gets the care they need, in the right place, at the right time;
- improve responsiveness to the assessed care needs of local communities and keep people well;
- increase the focus on prevention and managing conditions to stop a problem becoming an emergency; support health and social care
- providers to share information and think ahead to plan care around the individual;
- avoid hospital admissions unless absolutely necessary;
- improve patient flows in a hospital setting and promote early supported discharge;
- enhance the co-ordination of care in the community.
Who is involved?
Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) are led by those providing health and social care services in each locality.
Each of the 17 ICPs consists of a Partnership Committee that meets on at least a quarterly basis and includes:
- 2 GPs who work in the locality
- 2 community pharmacists
- Service user and carer from the locality
- A representative from a local community organisation
- A representative from a local voluntary organisation
- A local council representative
- Four representatives from the local Trust (medical specialist, nurse, allied health professional and social worker)
- A member of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
An ICP chairperson is elected by the members and carries out an important leadership role in helping the members to fulfil their role, guiding the work of the ICP and ensuring that a co-design and co-production approach is taken to all of the ICPs work.
Each Partnership Committee carries out work through meeting at least four times per year, to discuss, agree and implement changes that are needed in its locality.