The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced the introduction of changes to the law which will allow the implementation of Integrated Care Provider (ICP) models under new partnership arrangements.
The move comes as part of the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan, and represents one of the key legislative changes effectively requested by NHS England in the publication of the plan.
At present, each NHS provider (e.g. hospital, GP surgey) holds a separate contract with local commissioners. Under the new model, all providers in an area would be signatories to a single ICP plan.
DHSC has announced that under the new rules GPs will be able to transfer their existing contracts to new ICP contracts without needing to wait for current contracts to expire.
DHSC states that it expects that ICP contracts will be held by statutory providers, (i.e. NHS bodies rather than private providers). This echoes comments made by Secretary of State Matt Hancock, although it is unclear how this expectation will be enforced.