The Integrated Care Provider (ICP) contract is supposed to “integrate” health and social care in England. The original name for ICPs was Accountable Care Organisations (ACO), based on organisations in the United States. The aim is supposedly to deal with issues caused by the Health & Social Care Act 2012, which forced competitive contracting onto the English NHS, thus wasting huge amounts of time and resources on competition and tendering processes.
Instead of asking Parliament to pass new law to fix the problem, NHS England are trying to get round the issues with contracting by adding another layer of contracting - the Integrated Care Provider contract. But this creates more problems than it solves, creates serious new risks – of privatisation and contract failure - and is the wrong approach to improving integration.
ICPs are a bad idea and should be scrapped. Here are some of the reasons:
- Abolish contracting, instead of creating new kinds of contracts
- ICPs are extremely risky
- Lack of public transparency and accountability
- We don’t need ICPs to have better integration
- Ignoring the wider context: the crisis in NHS and social care
- Ignoring the real barriers to integration of health and social care
- Problems with ICP whole population a annual budgets
- No grounds for believing ICPs will improve public health
- Unjustified claims for improved quality of care in ICP contracts
- Fundamental changes to the nature of general practice
We've included a detailed analysis of these points on this page.