NHS England has announced the first eight accountable care systems, which aim to join up health services with social care and the voluntary sector.
Speaking to delegates at the NHS Confederation’s conference in Liverpool, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, also said they have signed a devolution agreement with Surrey County Council.
He said the agreement was ‘somewhat similar’ to the one signed with Manchester in 2015, giving local leaders and clinicians more control over services and funding.
Mr Stevens hailed the move to ACSs as ‘the biggest national move to integrating care of any major western country’.
In March, NHS England released a list of nine potential regions that would be the first to take on the form of an ACS, responsible for their whole population budget.
However eight have now been confirmed as accountable care systems:
o Frimley Health including Slough, Surrey Heath and Aldershot
o South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw, covering Barnsley, Bassetlew, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield
o Nottinghamshire, with an early focus on Greater Nottingham and Rushcliffe
o Blackpool & Fylde Coast with the potential to spread to other parts of the Lancashire and South Cumbria at a later stage
o Luton, with Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire
o Berkshire West, covering Reading, Newbury and Wokingham
The ninth, Surrey Heartlands, has signed a devolution deal with NHS England, which will integrate health and social care services.
All nine areas will cover seven million people and build on regional plans to overhaul health and social care, published late last year.
Mr Stevens said at the conference that NHS England is ‘committed to local leadership’ with systems accountable ‘for population improvement without all of the fragmentation that sometimes people are required to work under’.
He added that: ‘For patients this means better joined up services in place of what has often been a fragmented system that passes people from pillar to post.’