24 May 2022

The development of integrated care systems in England provides an exciting opportunity for speech and language therapists – find out what they are and how you can get involved.

What are integrated care systems?

Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that work collectively to plan and deliver joined up health and care services which meet the needs of people who live and work in their area.

As of 1 July 2022, 42 ICSs will be established across England on a statutory basis. Each ICS will include an integrated care partnership (ICP) and an integrated care board (ICB).

ICSs aim to improve healthcare outcomes, tackle inequalities, enhance productivity and value for money, and help the NHS to support broader social and economic development.

Why should I get involved?

By getting involved in ICSs, SLTs have the opportunity to influence the development and direction of new structures, plans and priorities.

By making connections with the right leaders in your local system, sharing the evidence base and convincing them that speech and language therapy can help them to deliver on their priorities, you could make a real difference to the services that are available for the people in your local area in line with the ambitions outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Guidance for SLTs and AHP leads

To support the speech and language therapy role in ICSs, the RCSLT has developed information for SLTs, outlining what ICSs are, how AHPs are represented, and how you can get involved in your local ICS.

We have also developed information for AHP Leads, which details the roles of SLTs and how they support the strategic purposes of integrated care and the NHS’s 2022-2023 priorities.