Clinical commissioning groups scrapped for new NHS integrated care systems

Changes to how health care is managed

Today (Friday, 1 July) marks a significant change to the way health and care will be governed in Kent and Medway and across England.

From today, 42 statutory integrated care systems will bring together the NHS, councils and other partners to plan and deliver health and care services in their area. The aim is to  join up hospital and community-based services, physical and mental health, and health and social care.

The legal introduction of integrated care systems, via the Health and Social Care Act 2022, now sees clinical commissioning groups dissolved.

Integrated care boards – here the NHS Kent and Medway – will be leadership organisations supporting partners to more effectively join up care and place an emphasis on prevention.

Kent and Medway Integrated Care System (ICS) is a partnership that brings together partners, including NHS services, councils and others, to plan, co-ordinate and commission health and care services.

This is a shift in the way the health and care system is organised – away from competition and towards collaboration – with health and care organisations working together to improve population health.

In Kent and Medway all the NHS organisations and the Kent and Medway councils have been working together as a sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) since 2016. In April 2021 NHS England formally accredited the Kent and Medway as an Integrated Care System.

From now, the integrated care system will be given statutory responsibilities and the Clinical Commissioning Group will be replaced by the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board.

Kent and Medway has a population of 1.9million people and is one of the largest integrated care systems in the county.

The aim is to enable the 42 areas to transform health and care for people in their local communities, as well as cutting red tape. For example, boosting health checks in the community to find people with health problems before they become seriously unwell is a key goal of the shift to integrated care systems, where local organisations work together to better meet the needs of local people.

NHS Kent and Medway Chief Executive Paul Bentley said: “We know there are far too many people living with health inequalities across the communities we serve and this will be a major focus of our work. We know more has to be done to improve the outcomes for people and the experience they have when they need care.

“Much of what influences health is outside of health and care services, so we must enable and lead this change – we see every day the direct impact of poor health and care. Prevention is critical.

“The beginning of NHS Kent and Medway and the integrated care system that involves so many partners, including councils and the voluntary sector, is crucial to this.”

Kent and Medway Chair Cedi Frederick said: “We need more than organisational change; we need to create a movement that can bring every organisation together, work together and work differently so we can deliver something better for the people of Kent and Medway.”

Some controversy has arisen around whether these developments could open the door to privatisation of the NHS. Concerns were most prominent around the development of the integrated care provider contract (a new contractual form allowing commissioners to award a long-term contract to a single organisation to provide a wide range of health and care services to a defined population), with campaigners arguing that this could lead to health and care services coming under the control of private companies.

Two judicial reviews were brought against NHS England in relation to the contract, but both were dismissed. The NHS Long Term Plan subsequently set an expectation that integrated care provider contracts would be held by public statutory providers.


  1. Farewell to any hopes for privacy as your medical records will now be shared throughout the country. Mine had a restriction of not to be shared outside the doctors practice but found they had been accessed by a nurse at William Harvey hospital, Ashford with a note “unable to consult patient, prescribed in his best interest” – she was standing 5 metres away from my bed and never asked. My wife booked me in for a doctor’s appointment and was asked about the restriction on data sharing! So much for data privacy in Kent.
    Perhaps this country needs the same legislation as Australia where you can download a form and have all or part of your record permanently destroyed,

    • Good, it will be nice to have people actually interested in your health. Unlike the doctors surgeries who will now be hiding away until the end of time claiming Covid fear & letting people drop dead. Funny that A&E have no such qualms.

  2. A welcome end to Thatcher’s nonsensical purchaser /commissioner – Provider setup, imitating business – which health isn’t. But the threat remains of stealthy invasion by private companies on Boards – although may not in Kent. We need to be vigilant to protect our NHS. Lancet published research shows shocking rise in treatment deaths since Tory privatisation allowed in 2012 Act – responsible for calculated 557 deaths

    • I don’t know where your doctors practice is but I have no problem getting appointments when needed at mine. Iam very happy with my GP practice

    • Useful link but you can only restrict the research usage. Not use on the NHS spine when it has been uploaded ”accidentally” -only ask for it to be archived!

      No right to have anything deleted, nothing to stop lazy staff claiming it was accessed in your best interests and nothing to stop prescribing drugs that do severe damage.

      You have no rights or redress and definitely no hope of a GP appointment….

  3. I worked in the N HS for many years and during that time saw trust names and groups change several times. The cost in terms even of stationery, computer systems, movement of staff, offices and so on was phenomenal and, sad to say, was not always for benefit of patients or the grass root staff. What will happen with our health service? I am certainly not confident of it staying as it is witness the waste of so much equipment in the past few years that gave great profit to friends of the government.

  4. In the 42 years I worked in the NHS billions have been wasted by Reorganisation chop and change it used to be the south east health board then it changed to NHS so-called University trust all in the false belief and lies of improving for patients care which it never did.
    Downgrade here downgrade there units closed beds lost closing down mental health hospitals. Incompetence mismanagement trying to break up with NHS to sell parts off care in the community what a joke that released dangerous patients into the community so Thatcher could close the hospitals to sell the land off to her friends at Barrats homes.

  5. In thanet you got more chance of winning the lottery than seeing a doctor face to face!!

  6. The Tories are the enemy under every NHS bed. The Tories have not carried out one NOT ONE policy in the NHS or the country for that matter that has been successful NOT ONE. Look back in history and see the truth.

  7. GPs are small businesses, run for the benefit of the partners, which is why American health care companies are buying them and restricting care for profit.
    What is needed is multi-discipline health centres with paid staff on good wages, designed to prevent ill health as well as provide early diagnosis and treatment.
    Nothing Westminster does to reorganise the admin side will change this.

  8. I am glad the ccgs have been abolished when Thanet had its own CCG it seemed to work well that’s when Blair run the country Thanet has always had poor healthcare your fine if you live in Whitstable or Herne bay and Canterbury. We don’t even have our own walk-in centre as in Whitstable GP practices are run by receptionists who have no idea of healthcare there needs to be the removal of the 111 service which is expensive to run as local GPS spend a lot of time in that system getting lots of money instead of in there practices but at least this is a start.We all have to be vigilant still for our NHS some may not agree with me but that’s democracy.

  9. Our system is a joke we don’t own our own medical records. Good luck trying get anything correct or removed on your records more chance going to the moon .

  10. Will it stop people being helicoptered to a London hospital, at immense cost, rather than have them treated at the QEQM?

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