The Institute of Public Health responded to a consultation on developing an Integrated Care System for Northern Ireland, launched by the Department of Health in July 2021. The draft framework for a new Integrated Care System proposes a reform of health service structures. The model seeks to empower local providers and communities to collaboratively plan, manage and deliver care for their local population with regional organisation and delivery of regional and specialised services.
Key Observations In response to this consultation, the Institute of Public Health made a number of recommendations, including the need for more clarity on governance and reporting structures as well as more information on how change management of this scale will be delivered.
The Institute would welcome a greater emphasis on equity-focused measures driven by the principle of proportionate universalism and highlighted the need for an overarching strategy to address health inequalities through action on the determinants of health.
This could be supported with tools, such as Health Impact Assessment, and through a cross-departmental commitment to a Health in All Policies approach. The Institute highlighted the need to invest in strengthening resilience as we move to the new model to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future public health threats.