NHS England releases oversight approach for 2021/22

NHS England has released its approach for the oversight of Integrated Care Systems, CCGs and trusts for 2021/22, outlining new targets and ambitions for the organisation.  

As part of the introduction in the document, NHSE said: “In recent years it has become increasingly clear that the best way to manage NHS resources to deliver high quality, sustainable care is to focus on organising health at both system and organisation level.”

The document is intended to compliment previous publications such as the NHS Long Term Plan, Integrating care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England, the White Paper Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, and the NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance.  

It aims to provide clarity to integrated care systems (ICSs), trusts and commissioners on how NHS England and NHS Improvement will monitor performance; sets expectations on working together to maintain and improve the quality of care; and describes how identified support needs to improve standards and outcomes will be co-ordinated and delivered.

A new programme is outlined, named ‘Recovery Support Programme’ (RSP), that will replace the pervious separate quality and finance ‘special measures’ regimes for provider trusts.

The overall purpose system overview is to ‘align the priorities of ICSs and the NHS organisations within them’ and ‘identify where ICSs and NHS organisations may benefit from or require support to meet the standards required’.  

The Recovery Support Program six defined principles it will use to go forward:

  1. Be system oriented, while still providing focused, intensive support to individual organisations 
  2. Focus on the underlying drivers of the problems that need to be addressed and those parts of the system that hold the key to improvement 
  3. Be nationally led by a credible, experienced system improvement director (SID) jointly appointed by the system, region and national intensive support team 
  4. Involve team-based support via an expert multidisciplinary team co-ordinated by the SID 
  5. Be time limited with clear exit criteria 
  6. Focus on system resilience with knowledge and skills transfer, providing sustainable capability within the system following exit.  

Alongside the framework, a set of oversight metrics were also released online, setting separate objectives for CCG’s, ICSs and NHS trusts.

Both documents are available online here