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NHS England confirms first wave of accountable care systems

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Which are the first areas in England to take on accountable care system status?

NHS England boss Simon Stevens has confirmed the eight areas in England to become accountable care systems (ACSs). The aim is to integrate services ‘to provide joined up, better co-ordinated care breaking down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental healthcare, social care and the NHS’.

Mr Stevens also announced a new devolution agreement in Surrey Heartlands, similar to the existing one in Greater Manchester. This agreement will bring together the NHS locally with Surrey County Council to integrate health and social care services.

The ACSs are:

  • Frimley Health, including Slough, Surrey Heath and Aldershot
  • South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw, covering Barnsley, Bassetlew, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield
  • Nottinghamshire, with an early focus on Greater Nottingham and Rushcliffe
  • Blackpool & Fylde Coast with the potential to spread to other parts of the Lancashire and South Cumbria at a later stage
  • Dorset
  • Luton, with Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire West, covering Reading, Newbury and Wokingham
  • Buckinghamshire

They have agreed to elements set out in Next steps on the five year forward view, including taking the strain off A&E, investing in general practice making it easier to get a GP appointment, and improving access to high quality cancer and mental health services.

West, North and East Cumbria and Northumberland could join the group of ACSs.

The areas will also take more control over funding available to support transformation programmes with the combined indicative potential to control around £450m of funding over the next four years.

Further information

NHS England: NHS moves to end ‘fractured’ care system

Wellards: Stevens sets out ‘Next steps’ for NHS