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Integrated care is about people only having to tell their story once to get the high-quality care and support that means they can live the lives they want. It presents the opportunity for joint working across service providers to ensure person-centred care, where choice and control is based on what matters to the person drawing on care and support.

Integration is joint work across social care, health services, housing organisations and other service providers, who are now working together through their integrated care system (ICS) to join up the care and support they provide locally. 

Our resources have been developed specifically to help leaders and managers of adult social care services and commissioners to consider how to work across organisational boundaries to deliver seamless care.

On this page, you’ll find briefings describing how people and organisations are working towards integrating care through the establishment of 42 ICSs across England. The guidance we’ve included can help to support you with better understanding what integration means and what you can do to make it a success. 

Our webpage for anyone working as part of or with ICSs includes advice and guidance aimed at helping them in their roles. 


What is an ICS and how can you get involved? 

Duration 2 mins 25 secs


By getting involved with your ICS, you can: 

  • ensure that social care is at the heart of decision making when it comes to planning, commissioning and financing care and support services locally
  • promote the importance and understanding of the benefit of social care to our society and the skills and values-based approach of its workforce
  • access funding and development opportunities through the ICS
  • inform the development of systems and processes designed to enable smoother transfer of people and information across health and social care
  • get involved with shared initiatives, such as with recruitment and developing staff, such as through placements across health and social care services
  • help to make health and social care sector a more attractive and better understood career option
  • demonstrate to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that you are taking proactive steps to work in partnership across sectors
  • build trust and relationships with healthcare services to enable better outcomes for the people you support.

Get involved with your ICS

We’re encouraging social care employers to engage with their ICS through its local placed-based partnership, either by:

  • joining the main local placed-based partnership as an individual
  • joining the main local placed-based partnership as a group, such as a local care association or registered manger, deputy manager or nominated individual network
  • joining one of the sub-groups or ‘neighbourhoods’ of the place-based partnership as an individual or network
  • finding out who to connect with who is already engaged with the place-based partnership in an area, seeking to be kept informed of opportunities and developments.

You can find out more about the place-based partnership in your area by contacting your Ƶ locality manager.



Drawing on experiences of Ƶ’s integration lead and providers benefitting from working with integrated care systems (ICSs), this webinar looks at person-centred approaches and what the CQC might expect. It also focuses on practical ways to build mutually beneficial relationships to enable communities to work together in delivering integrated care. 

Duration 59 mins



PDF - 589kb

Discover what integrated care is and why it’s important, as well as links to further information.

PDF - 131kb

Find out what's changing and why with integration and ICSs, including details about the legislation and policy surrounding the changes and what this means for social care. 

PDF - 524kb

Think through what is meant by workforce integration and the contribution that workforce development can make. Our practical guidance can help the learning and development needs of your workers.

PDF - 4.3MB

We spoke to employers to find out how they work with each other and other sectors. Our seven top tips help you build effective relationships and refine ways of working with different organisations in your care system.

PDF - 1225kb

Clarify the functions involved in coordinating care and supports a consistent definition of care coordination for those working at the interface of social care and health.

PDF - 614Kb

We carried out this research as a follow-up to the 'Role of prevention in social care' report listed below. It gathered the views from over 300 social care providers and adult social care commissioners about their understanding of the role of prevention in social care.

PDF - 1,466kb

We found that there’s emerging good practice and increased partnership working to deliver preventative work in social care. However, there’s a lot more to learn.


Delegated healthcare activities

Ƶ, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and partners have co-developed voluntary guiding principles to support person-centred, safe and effective delegation of healthcare activities.