Nottingham City Council has suspended its formal role in the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS).

A decision was taken at the council’s Executive Board today (20 Nov) to call for greater accountability in the way decisions are being made by a partnership of NHS and other health organisations, formerly known as the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

The council has decided to pause its involvement with the ICS for up to six months to allow time for the council to review the collective work to join-up health and social care.

Cllr Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health for Nottingham City, said:

“Too many decisions about our local health and social care services have been taken without democratic oversight. There needs to be greater accountability to the public and that requires greater democratic involvement and more engagement with people who use local health services.

“As a council, our principles and objectives are clear, we promote public service delivery, have an absolute determination to tackle health inequalities in our communities and we seek fairer funding to ensure that Nottingham has an adequately funded social care service.

“I want to see decisions about local health services being made as close to the people who use and rely upon those services as possible. During the suspension we will work with partner organisations including local hospitals, GPs and NHS commissioners to improve the way the ICS works in the interests of Nottingham residents.

“While we support the principle of integration of health and social care services, this process cannot be a cover for cuts or for privatisation of public services, therefore proper oversight and scrutiny is required locally.”

Ongoing day-to-day work between the city council and the NHS will continue as normal, especially in the council’s efforts to join-up with partners to prepare for what is likely to be another busy winter in local hospitals. The council will also continue to work through the Health and Wellbeing Board to champion best practice for finding new and innovative ways to support people’s health and care needs in Nottingham.

The Council will make a decision on whether to re-join the ICS by Spring 2019.

The STPs were introduced by the Government in 2016 in every area of the country to look at how local organisations can work together to improve care, health and wellbeing.

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS consists of Nottingham City Council, Notts County Council, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Partnership, Mid-Notts Alliance, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, CityCare Partnership, Nottinghamshire Healthcare and Circle.