Health and wellbeing


Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, in order to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area. 42 ICSs were established across England on a statutory basis on the 1st of July 2022. Northamptonshire is one of these - Integrated Care Northamptonshire (ICN): But what is the impact of these changes? And what do all the acronyms mean!

Integrated Care Board (ICB)

A statutory NHS organisation responsible for developing a plan for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget, and arranging for the provision of health services in the ICS area. The establishment of ICBs resulted in clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) being closed.

Integrated Care Partnership (ICP)

A statutory committee jointly formed between the NHS integrated care board and all upper-tier local authorities that fall within the ICS area. The ICP brings together a broad alliance of partners concerned with improving the care, health, and wellbeing of the population, with membership determined locally. The ICP is responsible for producing an integrated care strategy on how to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the population in the ICS area.

Health and Wellbeing Boards

Below the ICB and ICP sit two Health and Wellbeing Boards, one in each unitary area. The HWBs remain and continue to initiate and encourage the integrated delivery of health, social care and other services. Under ICN, they have responsibility for informing and influencing the ICP strategy and engaging with the Place based organisations:

Health and Wellbeing Forums (HWF)/Community Wellbeing Forums (CWF)

West Northants has two Health and Wellbeing Forums: Northampton; Daventry and South Northants. North Northants uses slightly different terminology and calls them Community Wellbeing Forums. The North has 4 CWF: Corby,Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northants. Information flows between the forums and the HWB Boards and the Place Based Local Area Partnerships that they govern:

Local Area Partnerships (LAPs)

LAPs aim to ensure health and care services are better co-ordinated and delivered more proactively for people at a local level. These partnerships will be governed by HWFs or CWFs (depending upon Place) and served by groups of GP practices (known as Primary Care Networks) working with NHS community services, local councils and social care providers.

If you haven't yet engaged with your local LAP, you may want to in order to be involved in shaping their delivery. This slide show provides more details about the ICN and the role of the LAPs in both the North and the West of the county.


The Integrated Cae Northamptonshire Strategy, produced by the Integrated Care Partnership has now been published. Download here.



The results of the three- year investigation undertaken by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Rural Health and Care and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care was one of the most extensive of its kind. The report was published in February 2022 but was overshadowed by events happening elsewhere in the world. It feels like this might be a good time to let everyone know about the report as it is very pertinent to the work that is being done through the LAPs for ICN.

The inquiry found that the pandemic had major negative effects on rural health and care, resulting in damage to the wellbeing of rural health and care workers, staff shortages and the financial viability of care homes. There was also an increase in the number of people migrating to rural areas. The Inquiry highlights the need for Government to take notice of the impact on health services of the growing rural population and it is good to see that rural needs are being looked at in more detail with the roll out of the Local Area Partnerships.

The full report can be downloaded here or an overview is avaialble here. Definitely worth reading!