System leadership and ICS development

Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of health and care organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up services and to improve the health of people who live and work in their area.


The Health and Care Act seeks to build on integration work to date by removing barriers to integrating services to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. There is a requirement for NHS integrated care boards and local authorities to establish a health and care partnership with responsibility for producing an integrated care strategy.

The legislation gives local systems the flexibility to make their own arrangements for joining up services and setting their own strategies for improving population health. Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of health and care organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up services and to improve the health of people who live and work in their area.

NHS England and Improvement’s guidance, Building Strong Integrated Systems Everywhere, acknowledges that fully inclusive multi-professional clinical and care professional leadership is key to designing and delivering integrated care and meeting the complex needs of the population.

The LGA and NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) have developed Localising decision making: a guide to support effective working across neighbourhood, place and system to provide key prompts and actions for local leaders to promote strong localised decision making across health and local government.

Bespoke support

We offer a wide range of bespoke support to health and care leaders on leadership and all issues surrounding ICS development such as:

National resources

bNHS England Building strong integrated care systems everywhere (PDF) - NHS England and Improvement’s (NHSEI) “Building strong integrated care systems everywhere; ICS implementation guidance on effective clinical and care professional leadership”

Guidance on Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) engagement | Local Government Association - This guidance sets out The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and the LGA’s expectations for the role of Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) within Integrated Care Systems.

NHS England Integrating Care – An NHSEI document which opens up a discussion with the NHS and its partners about how ICSs could be embedded in legislation or guidance.

Briefings and publications

Get in on the Act: Health and Care Act 2022
The Health and Care Act received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022. This briefing outlines what the Act covers and how it will impact local government.

Shifting the centre of gravity: making place-based, person-centred health and care a reality – A joint report by the LGA, ADASS, the Association of Directors of Public Health, the NHS Clinical Commissioners, the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers showing what can be achieved by system leaders and staff from local government, the NHS, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and service user and carer groups working together to improve health and deliver person-centred care.

Six principles to achieve integrated care  - The six principles that underpin our joint approach to integration outlined in Shifting the centre of gravity: making place-based, person-centred health and care a reality.

Achieving integrated care  – A practice resource produced by LGA and the Social Care Institute for Excellence that supports local systems in fulfilling their ambition of integration.

Localising decision making: a guide to support effective working across neighbourhood, place and system - A guide produced by the LGA and NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) to provide key prompts and actions for local leaders to promote strong localised decision making across health and local government.

Integrating care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems – An LGA briefing which summarises the proposals of relevance to local government in the NHS consultation document and highlights the initial key messages, questions and concerns of the LGA.

Stepping up to the place - A joint report by the LGA, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS Confederation on the key to successful health and care integration.

Support including High Impact Change Models and case studies

Leadership development – A summary of the LGA’s health and care political and clinical leadership offer

COVID- 19 good practice case study: Gateshead’s collective leadership approach | Local Government Association – A case study summarising how Gateshead has used their using their collective system leadership approach and their reflections on what they want to keep and build on.

Resource library

You can view the full resource library which includes a wide range of publications, tools, case studies and webinar recordings, relating to all aspects of System Transformation and Integration