The Warrington Together Partnership has the vision to ensure “Warrington is a place where we work together to create stronger neighbourhoods, healthier people and greater equality across our communities.”

Our partnership will aim to deliver an Integrated Health and Social Care system through effective stakeholder collaboration and deliver improved health and social care services and outcomes for the population of Warrington.

Cheshire and Merseyside is one of the largest ICSs with a population of 2.6 million people living across a large and diverse geographical footprint. The ICS brings together nine ‘places’ across individual local authority boundaries, 19 NHS Provider Trusts and 51 Primary Care Networks.

During 2021, guidance and frameworks began to emerge to support the development of integrated health and care and during this time our Warrington Place began to collectively come together to establish ourselves as a Place Based Partnership.

The overarching aim of our Warrington Together Partnership is to work collaboratively using our collective resources to change services across the health and social care system to improve outcomes.

This includes aligned and joint investment, shared commissioning, aligned quality surveillance, integrated service delivery and joint decision making.

Our six areas of focus

We have identified six of our biggest shared Health and Social Care key focus areas:

  1. Improving population health and supporting vulnerable communities and individuals. Developing a Place wide Living Well Framework that supports people to start, live and age well, be active and live healthy, fulfilling lives.
  2. Dealing with rising demand and responding to the changing needs and expectations of the local population.
  3. Improving and maintaining quality services and managing more complex needs locally.
  4. Sustaining and growing our workforce, volunteers and community led services.
  5. Ensuring good access to early help that will prevent crisis and needs from escalating.
  6. Maintaining an effective and financially sustainable health and care system, with budgets under pressure.

What are Integrated Care Systems?

Integrated Care Systems (ICS) are new partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups.

There are 42 ICSs across England, including Cheshire and Merseyside ICS, which will go live from 01 July 2022, when CCGs will be abolished.

The Cheshire and Merseyside ICS will bring together nine Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs):

  1. Cheshire
  2. Halton
  3. Knowsley
  4. Liverpool
  5. St Helens
  6. South Sefton
  7. Southport and Formby
  8. Warrington
  9. Wirral

The Cheshire and Merseyside ICS will have legal status and will include a statutory Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), and a new NHS body called the Integrated Care Board (ICB). These are described in more detail below.

What is the Integrated Care Board (ICB)?

Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will be established as new statutory organisations to lead integration within the NHS.

The ICB will take on the NHS commissioning functions of CCGs as well as some of NHS England’s commissioning functions. It will also be accountable for NHS spend and performance within the system.

The Board of the ICB will, as a minimum, include a chair, the CEO and representatives from NHS providers, general practice and local authorities. Beyond that, ICBs will have the flexibility to determine governance arrangements in their area – including the ability to create committees and delegate functions to them. This would, for example, allow systems to create local ‘place’-based committees to plan care where appropriate. ICBs will also need to ensure they have appropriate clinical advice when making decisions.

NHS England will agree ICBs’ constitutions and will hold them to account for delivery.

Staff currently employed by CCGs will transfer to ICBs, and NHS England has made an employment commitment to staff to provide stability and minimise uncertainty.

What is the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP)?

Each area will also have an Integrated Care Partnership or ICP, a joint committee which brings together the ICB and their local authorities as equal partners, and other locally determined representatives (for example from health, social care, public health; and potentially others, such as housing providers).

The ICP will be tasked with developing a strategy to address the health, social care and public health needs of their system, and being a forum to support partnership working.

The Integrated Care Board and local authorities will have to have regard to ICP strategies when making decisions.

The ICB and ICP will also have to work closely with local Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) as they have the experience as ‘place-based’ planners, and the ICB will be required to have regard to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategies produced by HWBs.

The ICP will be a dedicated forum to enhance relationships between the leaders across the health and care system, interact with, and support the development of Place-Based Partnerships.

What are Place-Based Partnerships?

The Cheshire and Merseyside ICB will arrange for some of its functions to be delivered, and decisions about NHS funding to be made, in the region’s nine borough places – through Place-Based Partnerships.

Place-based partnerships are collaborative arrangements formed by the organisations responsible for arranging and delivering health and care services in a locality or community.

Place-based partnerships will remain as the foundations of integrated care systems as they are put on a statutory footing, building on existing local arrangements and relationships.

The ICB will remain accountable for NHS resources deployed at borough place-level. Each ICB will set out the role of designated Place-based leaders within its governance arrangements.

What are Provider Collaboratives?

Providers of health, care and support services will increasingly collaborate at all levels of the system. This is nothing new; there are some great examples of joined-up provider working, especially during the Covid pandemic. However, the current rules don’t always encourage provider collaboration.

There are two separate Provider Collaboratives for Cheshire & Merseyside.

  • The Cheshire and Merseyside Acute and Specialist Trust (CMAST)
  • Mental Health, Community, Learning Disability collaborative (MHLDSC)

Both will agree specific objectives with the ICB, to contribute to the delivery of Cheshire and Merseyside’s strategic priorities and are committed to working together to support the delivery of benefits of scale and mutual aid across multiple places or systems.

For more information, visit the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership website

The Health and Care Partnership has also developed a glossary of terms to support understanding of both new and existing terminology relating to integrated care.

Please contact WarringtonTogether@Warrington.gov.uk for any queries.