East of England LGA calls on Government to strengthen approach to health and care integration


The East of England Local Government Association is calling for more attention on services essential to the health and wellbeing of communities in response to the Government’s Integration White Paper.

On July 1 2022, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will be formally established across the English NHS, marking another milestone in the government’s policy to integrate health and care.
The East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) which represents 50 local authorities in the region, has recently submitted a detailed analysis and feedback on the Government’s Integration White Paper, highlighting that this policy must place an even greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention if ICSs are to achieve all four of their aims.

Councillor Linda Haysey, Chairman of EELGA and Leader of East Hertfordshire District Council, said: “While we welcome the Government’s Health and Social Care Integration White Paper, our analysis has found there is still much to be addressed.

“Integration is about more than adult social care and health. There is insufficient attention to children’s services, as well as the wider leisure, housing and preventative services that are essential to the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

EELGA’s analysis identifies that the policy lacks sufficient attention to children’s social care, or early intervention and prevention services for children and young people, along with the need for a higher priority on housing, leisure and wellbeing services, which are paramount to maintain the health and wellbeing of communities.

EELGA also voiced concerns over the need to provide more radical solutions for developing the workforce across the health and care sectors, and the barriers that remain for these to operate in a genuinely flexible, integrated environment, endorsing the need for a clear workforce plan supported by more joint management posts within local health and care systems.

In terms of setting desired outcomes for ICSs, while EELGA recognises there will be a suite of national priorities to address, and these will be primarily led by NHS requirements, EELGA believes local authorities should have a much greater say in setting goals and outcomes in each local area. This will ensure these reflect the specific needs of local populations, and that these should be aligned with other related policies, such as the 12 missions currently making their way through Parliament in the Levelling Up Bill.

The analysis also details the need for more clarity on the role of elected councillors in new integration arrangements, who are democratically accountable to the public.
Councillor Haysey added: “EELGA is calling on Central Government to recognise our feedback and use it to strengthen its approach towards Health and Social Care Integration to better serve communities across the East of England and rest of the country.”

The analysis of the Health and Social Care Integration White Paper was compiled by EELGA reflecting the views of local authority officers, elected members and in collaboration with wider partners including health sector partners.

For more information email info@eelga.gov.uk