What are integrated care boards?

Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will take on the NHS planning functions previously held by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and will absorb some planning roles from NHS England, including planning functions for many aspects of services for people affected by neurological conditions, such as:

  • Paediatric and adult neuropsychiatry
  • Complex rehabilitation for ‘patients with highly complex needs’ (including neurorehabilitation)
  • Adult neurology
  • Adult neurophysiology
  • Adult rare brain and central nervous cancers
  • Paediatric neuroscience
  • Paediatric neurorehabilitation
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neuroradiology

ICBs vary in size and formulation across England. Each has their own leadership team, which includes a chair and chief executive, and will also include members from NHS trusts/foundation trusts, local authorities, and general practice, selected from nominations made by each set of organisations, and an individual with expertise and knowledge of mental illness. This could be a healthcare professional such as a psychiatrist, or the chief executive of an NHS mental health trust.

Beyond that, ICBs will have the flexibility to determine governance arrangements in their area – including the ability to create committees and delegate functions to them. This would, for example, allow systems to create local place-based committees to plan care where appropriate. ICBs also need to ensure they receive appropriate clinical advice when making decisions.

In consultation with local partners, each ICB will produce a five-year plan (updated annually) for how NHS services will be delivered to meet local needs. In developing this plan and carrying out their work, the ICB must have regard to integrated care strategy of the integrated care partnership (ICP) they are working with (known as their partner ICP) and be informed by the joint health and wellbeing strategies published by the health and wellbeing boards in their area. Additionally, each ICB must outline how it will ensure public involvement and consultation.

NHS England agrees ICBs’ constitutions and will hold them to account for delivery.

ICBs are expected to work together across nine regional footprints to plan and commission many services for people affected by neurological conditions. This follows the delegation of ‘specialised commissioning’ responsibilities to ICBs.

Find out more about specialised commissioning.

Getting in touch with your ICB

You may like to get in touch with your ICB to:

  • Set out their plans to improve access to treatment, care and support for people affected by neurological conditions in their area.
  • If you have identified a particular gap in treatment and care provision for people affected by neurological conditions.
  • To ask how the views and experiences of people affected by neurological conditions are informing their strategy.

Find your ICB here.

Further reading

NHS England and NHS Improvement, (2022) Integrated care boards in England.