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Understanding integrated health and care

Throughout May we’re supporting you with #UnderstandingIntegration by highlighting what integrated health and care means and how you can get involved with the development of Integrated Care Systems.

Integration between health and social care has been widely discussed for many years. The passing of the Health and Care Act 2022 in April last year and the establishment of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in July 2022 have been key in moving the process forward.

With so much talk about integration happening, it can be daunting to keep up with what it all means.

That’s why our #UnderstandingIntegration spotlight is aiming to clearly explain what integration between health and social care means for your organisation, and how you can get involved in developing this way of working.

At its core, integration is about co-ordinating and providing joined up and seamless services for people who draw on care and support for health or care needs. To ensure this works effectively we need adult social care providers to be engaged and enabled to contribute their insights about the social care sector and the people and communities who they support.

Our #UnderstandingIntegration spotlight will include resources and information which will explain what integration means, the role of ICSs and how you can get involved. We’ll also be sharing case studies of how people working in social care are already collaborating as part of their ICS.

Don't miss a thing

Stay updated with our #UnderstandingIntegration campaign by keeping an eye on this page and following us on , , , as well as our regular newsletters and communications.

We’ll be sharing blogs and articles including real-life case studies, as well as signposting to further resources, and other support.



Integrated care system case studies

These case studies showcase where integration across health and social care is already working well. You'll find examples of how leaders of social care organisations are involved with their ICS and innovative ideas for making integrated ways of working a success.

Find the case studies


PDF - 524 KB
These six principles of workforce integration were developed to support leaders, managers, practitioners and organisations to consider what is meant by integration. They encourage us to think about how workforce development can contribute to the implementation and sustainability of integration by focusing on personalised care and improving the lives of people drawing on care and support.


This online guide was developed as a collaboration between Ƶ, NHS Employers and the Care and Health Improvement Programme. Produced for those working as part of or with ICSs, it introduces workforce thinking, sets out the challenges, highlights the importance of using workforce data and shares advice and examples of best practice.


PDF - 4.27 MB
This short guide provides top tips for working together to improve people’s experience of hospital admission and discharge back into the community. It’s based on discussions with a range of adult social care and health employers which explored how they work with each other and other sectors, particularly around hospital admissions and discharges.


Delegated healthcare activities

Delegated healthcare activitiesSocial care workers may be asked to carry out healthcare activities that are delegated by a registered healthcare professional to support people’s care and independence. We’ve created two short guides to support decision making and provide information on delivering delegated healthcare activities safely and competently.

See the guides.

This month we’ve published voluntary guiding principles to support person-centred, safe and effective delegation of healthcare activities to care workers, including personal assistants. These have been co-developed by Ƶ, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and sector partners.

View the principles and supporting resources.



Support with workforce planning, transformation and commissioning

We have guidance and tools to help both providers and commissioners to shape, commission, plan and develop the workforce. They focus on the key assumptions of effective workforce shaping, commissioning and planning and the analyse, plan, do, review model.

Find the guidance and tools  


What is an ICS and how can you get involved?

Watch our explainer video for an overview of ICSs, their structure and responsibilities, and how you can get involved.

Duration 2 mins 25 secs


Blogs and articles