There’s so much discussion on the changes to our local health and social care services at the moment. It’s important to remember why these changes are being made, and what the vision is for the future.

At its core, an Integrated Care System (ICS) will involve services working together. This includes building better links between health and social care so that all-round care can be given. The hope is that joining services together will make them efficient and cost effective, for both you and the NHS.

This video explains the how the NHS works, and how it will work when ICSs are set up across the country (please note that the video refers to them as ACSs).

If you would like more information on ICSs, this presentation by Chris Ham covers them in more detail.

So what’s happening in Bucks?

So far, changes are being made in 4 key areas:

  • Community hubs (currently being piloted in Thame and Marlow)
  • Diabetes care – improving support, advice and guidance for self-management
  • Joining up musculoskeletal services – this will improve care for common issues like tendonitis, carpel tunnel, and muscle strain
  • Telemedicine – increasing the use of remote video appointments in care homes

There are also plans to make it easier to get GP appointments even at evenings and weekends, give more access to mental health services, and improve cancer diagnostics and treatments.

If you want to find out more about what’s going on in Bucks ICS, the plans are laid out on the NHS website.

Published on 11 Oct, 2018 (updated 15 Jan, 2019)

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3 comments on "What is an Integrated Care System? – Bucks ICS"

  • Commenter said on 6th November 2018

    The NHS structure is so complex, confusing and ever changing – particularly in England – that most of the staff can’t explain who’s in charge and what all the organisations within it do.
    Fixing the NHS and social care system will not be quick and easy, even if we put money in. In many instances, it would often be kinder to have less high-tech, expensive intervention than more. To improve, the NHS needs to be simplified so that anyone can understand it. We pretend to distinguish between healthcare and social care, but it’s all ‘care’ and it should be joined into one care system, with those with the greatest need treated by one team with one named person responsible for coordinating your care.

  • Commenter said on 29th September 2020


    • Healthwatch Bucks replied on 29th September 2020

      As noted in the article, the video refers to Integrated Care Systems as ACSs (Accountable Care Systems), which was their original name. These latest changes to the NHS are discussed at 3:18 in the video.

      The first 3 minutes of the video explain very clearly how the NHS was working up until recently. This is important to understand the latest changes.

      The video also mentions that the NHS changes constantly. For example, it doesn’t mention Primary Care Networks (PCNs), which have come about since the video was made.

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