Interim guidance on our approach to assessing integrated care systems

Page last updated: 23 February 2024


Assessing integrated care systems is a core ambition in our current strategy. It will enable us to provide independent assurance to the public of the quality of care in their area.

Our aim is to understand how integrated care systems are working to tackle health inequalities and improve outcomes for people. This means looking at how services are working together within an integrated system, as well as how systems are performing overall.

The Health and Care Act 2022 gives us new regulatory powers that allow us to offer a meaningful and independent assessment of integrated care systems.

Our reviews will take into consideration the core purpose of integrated care systems, as referenced in NHS England’s design framework and the requirements of the legislation. They will focus on 3 themes:

  1. Quality and safety
  2. Integration
  3. Leadership

This guidance is interim and is awaiting approval by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as required by the Health and Care Act 2022. Its aim is to help integrated care systems understand more about our approach during the pilot phase.

We will expand and update this interim guidance in collaboration with stakeholders as we develop our model over the coming months and transition to ongoing assessment. It will form the basis for the more detailed end-to-end guidance later in the year.