Additional information

The NHS long-term plan and integrated care systems

The NHS long-term plan set the ambition that every part of England should be an integrated care system (ICS) by 2021.

It encourages all organisations in each health and care system area to join forces, so they are better able to improve the health of their populations and offer coordinated efficient services to those who need them. Health and care leaders will work to make that ambition a reality, whether in NHS acute or primary care, physical or mental health.

What it says about the voluntary sector and volunteering

  • A big shift from acute to community care
  • Voluntary sector should be embedded in the leadership of ICSs
  • Voluntary sector membership of new NHS Assembly
  • Focus on addressing health inequalities
  • Big increase in volunteering in the NHS

What the voluntary sector can do

Voluntary organisations and social enterprises have a key role supporting the delivery of the long-term plan as transformation, integration and innovation partners. We:

  • deliver services: making up a significant proportion of health and care workforce, including volunteers
  • advocate: for different communities and groups across systems (by condition, geography, protected characteristic)
  • offer expertise and flexibility: to innovate and bring community assets into the health and care economy
  • bring credibility and trust: the ability to support non-medical needs and join up services where the public sector cannot.