****The information below relates to past actions****

**** Please feel free to browse!!****


Up-to-date info about the current “Integrated Care Systems” is located here


“Sustainability and Transformation Plans” (STPs) and “Accountable Care Organisations” (ACOs)

Switch to private 3

STPs, ACOs and ICSs – the shifting sands of NHS privatisation

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) were introduced by the Conservative Government in 2017; this reconfiguration involved dividing England into 44 geographical “footprints” within which providers and commissioners (including, on paper at least, Councillors) were asked to work together to address the NHS Five Year Forward View.  Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) and Systems (ACSs) were seen as a progression of this initiative where, according to NHS England, “an ACS will be an evolved version of a STP that is working as a locally integrated health system”NHS England, 2017
Accountable Care involves the payment of a group of organisations to work together to look after a whole population – the inhabitants of a city, county or “footprint” – and paying that group of organisations per head. A phrase used during the instigation of this approach in New Zealand was “one system, one budget” Charles, A, 2017
Whilst the stated aims of developing STPs and ACOs in the UK included health promotion, community based provision, collaborative working and cost effectiveness – all of which (on the surface, at least) are credible aims –  it immediately became apparent that the approach of the Government aligned more with privatisation and cost-cutting agenda’s. This included awarding large commercial contracts for hospital, community and general practice to private businesses and corporations such as Virgin Care, Care UK, and HCA; services such as ambulance, laboratory, cleaning and IT were also increasingly outsourced.
This competition for contracts inevitably leads to aggressive cost-cutting, with loss of services and deskilled, poorly paid and demotivated staff. However, the advent of “Accountable Care Organisations” brings the additional risk of wholesale NHS privatisation by the tendering of a single massive contract to run all of the hospitals, community services and, sometimes, social care services in one geographical region or “footprint”. Likely bidders include US healthcare giants and, equally deadly, private – public partnerships between finance corporates and NHS Trusts. Kaiser Permanente is associated with the term “Accountable Care Organisations”, providing healthcare in the States on a private insurance basis.
Whilst the Government had spoken about the creation of Accountable Care Organisations across England, the term quickly became problematic, probably because of the US associations and the activity of Campaign groups, plus two high level legal challenges (see below) . Eager to separate from and shake off this association with ACOs, NHS England rebranded ACOs as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) – see our ICS website page here
So….is it STP? ACO? or ICS? If you get these terms mixed up, then you won’t be alone… and the easiest way forward is to consider them one and the same, with ICSs being the latest and current term in vogue. STPs are now very rarely mentioned, and the term ACO is very swiftly brushed under the carpet by NHS England.
One final issue – although the Government is pushing for the establishment of 42 Integrated Care Systems across England by 2021, at present they have no legal standing – hence the White Paper (2021) and the proposals to give ICSs statutory powers and responsibilities. Government spin suggests the White Paper proposals will “reduce the role of the private sector and scrap a system of contracts being put out to tender that has seen health groups competing against each other”. Instead, the White Paper suggests that the NHS and local authorities would be left to run services and work together.  NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. The proposals for ICSs will further fragment the NHS, bring major corporates into the heart of NHS management and bind local authorities, especially social care, to NHS priorities. This will destroy our NHS. We need to restore our NHS as a publicly planned, run and publicly owned NATIONAL service, funded through taxation
Please go to our ICS website page for detailed information incl leaflets, articles, model motions, petitions and a map showing the geography of the “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System”.



….and hear Hunt speak about the shift from the title “Accountable Care Organisation” to “Integrated Care System” – shameful.

Incidentally, the perceptive follow-up video featuring Prof David Himmelstein was filmed by KONPNE in October 2017, at the event at Newcastle University hosted by Prof Allyson Pollock


STP’s and ACO’s – past Campaign information and links 2016 – 19

aco 2
General information re STPs and ACOs
Patients4NHS   What is happening to the NHS – A Guide for Patients and Public
National KONP   STP’s: What you need to know
Carol Ackroyd   FAQ’s about STP’s
Patients4NHS  Information sheet
Unite the Union  Mythbusting: STP’s
Centre for Health and the Public Interest   STP’s: Five Key Questions for Planners  
London South Bank University  STP’s: How serious are the proposals? A critical review
The Centre for Health and the Pubic Interest (January 2017)  – article by John Lister, Health Campaigns Together   STP’s: A Critical Assessment
The Centre for Health and the Public Interest (October 2017)   Unaccountable Policy Making for the NHS in England
Public Matters (Feb 2018)  Will the written evidence to the Health Select Committee bring about the end of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans?

stp 1

October 2019 KONPNE Briefing Papers on ACOs and ICSs (for public use, plus copies sent to all Councillors in NE)

2019 KONPNE briefing - ACO and ICS-page0001 (5)

Accountable Care Organisations and Integrated Care Systems        2019 KONPNE briefing – ACO and ICS

2019 KONPNE briefing - We Need To Be Worried-page0001 (3)

We need to be worried about the NHS Long Term Plan, Integrated Care Systems and Primary Care Networks          2019 KONPNE briefing – We Need To Be Worried

Local and national NHS documentation relating to STPs and ACOs 
Presentation to North East Joint STP Health Scrutiny Committee by Amanda Hume, Executive Lead for Transformation and Strategic Commissioning (Jan 2019) – click on item 5  An Aspiring Integrated Care System
North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System Strategic Five-Year Plan 2019  (Nov 2019) NENC ICS Five Year Plan – 15.11.19
NHS England guidance on contracting for ACO’s (August 2017)  – “Integrating care – contracting for accountable models”
April 2017 Guidance from Newcastle City Council’s “Wellbeing for Life Board” about the “Communities and Neighbourhood model” is here  This paper proposes ways in which the STP may fit within organisational structures.
Draft Northumberland, Tyne, Wear and North Durham Sustainability and Transformation Plan (Nov 2016)  Full document: NTWND-STP-final-submission-combined   
The NHS England webpage which provides links to associated operational documents is here
NHS England guidance on engagement and consultation re STP’s (Sept 2016): engag-local-people-stps
NHS England guidance on operational planning (Sept 2016): NHS-operational-planning-guidance-201617-201819 (1)

Papers, articles and challenges
Comprehensive briefing paper on ACO’s from national KONP:  full pdf document
KONP report and info (Oct 2018) re ICP Consultation (incl KONP video on ICP’s)   https://keepournhspublic.com/privatisation/icps-what-are-they/
National KONP response to the ICP Consultation (Oct 2018) National KONP response to ICP consultation Oct 2018
Dr Hutchinson, Prof Pollock, Prof Richards, Dr Winyard  respond to ICP proposals (Oct 2018):  Pollock, Hutchinson, Richards, Winyard ICP Consultation Response 2018
and an overview (Oct 2018) is here: A message from Professor Allyson Pollock and colleagues
House of Commons (July 2018) briefing paper on ACO’s
KONP analysis (June 2018) of Select Committee Report on Integrated Care and ACOs 
Legal Challenge to the ACO’s number 1 (2018): 999 Call for the NHS is here
Working with public law firm LEIGH DAY, 999 Call for the NHS believe that the ACO contract is unlawful under current NHS legislation, on the grounds that the contract does not link payment to the number of patients treated and/or the complexity of the medical treatment provided. It fails to ensure that there would be sufficient money to meet the cost of delivering NHS services to the required quality standard. 
Legal challenge to the ACO’, number 2 (2018): Judicial Review for the NHS (JR4NHS) is here
Working with public law firm LEIGH DAY, the JR4NHS team believe that  ACOs would fundamentally change the NHS and many private businesses could profit from this radical reorganisation of health and social services. These private businesses would have control over the allocation of NHS and taxpayers’ money. Their accountability for spending it and their obligations to the public would be under commercial contracts, not statutes. This is not in the public interest. It is also against the public interest that ACO’s are being introduced by stealth, without proper public consultation and without full Parliamentary scrutiny. 
The petition (May 2018): https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/205106
New Internationalist – Jo Land (April 2018) Why neo-liberal institutions are pushing “Accountable Care” in health
Parliament debates the e-petition on NHS Privatisation (April 2018):
Stop the privatisation of NHS services
We call for a ban on the outsourcing (privatisation) of NHS services, and stop the renewal of any outsourcing contracts already signed. Companies should not be profiteering from NHS contracts, when every pound of NHS budgets is desperately needed for more doctors and nurses, and to pay them more.
Research by Bain & Company published by the Financial Times in January 2017, found that private-sector companies had been invited to bid for 14 per cent more NHS contracts in the 12 months to August 2016 than just a year previously. In March 2017 the Financial Times also reported of the extra £2bn given to the NHS in 2014 to try and bolster NHS services, according to data analysis carried out by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, only about half this extra money was spent in the NHS.
Watch the debate (23rd April 2018): https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/dd85df77-1e1d-4f1b-bb9f-30a6f5e06a98
Read the transcript (23rd April 2018): https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-04-23/debates/A43878B7-E1E8-4205-A7D2-6624BCF0E403/PrivatisationOfNHSServices
Commons Health & Social Care Select Committee on ACOs (March 2018)  Oral evidence on dangers for the NHS of Accountable Care Systems and Organisations  (click on the link at the bottom of this page to watch the proceedings)
999 Call for the NHS  – Is Accountable Care on hold? (March 2018)  999 Rough Guide to Accountable Care
Jonathan Ashworth identifies serious concerns re STP’s and ACO’s: Changes regarding healthcare provision must be debated and voted in Parliament      New Statesman 8.12.17 

NHS Long Term Plan (January 2019)
Article from 999 Call for the NHS (February 2019) –  “Massive North East and North Cumbria ICS to go live in the Spring”
and another great article from 999 (February 2019) – “What changes will patients notice when the NHS is run by Integrated Care Systems and Providers?”
Response from national KONP (January 2019) – “NHS Long Term Plan – unfunded, undemocratic, unfair, unsafe”
Commentary article from Our NHS (January 2019) – “The NHS Long Term Plan, Prevention, and a Century of Promises”
Article in the Independent, Dr Youssef El-Gingihy (January 2019) – “The NHS 10-year plan has cleared a path for total privatisation of our health service”
Centre for Health and the Public Interest (January 2019) – “Is this the way the future’s meant to feel? The NHS Long Term Plan and the future of health and social care in England”
 Report on the local NHS position in the NE (January 2019)“A shadow Aspiring Integrated Care System”  click on item 5
KONPNE briefing leaflet on ACO and ICS(January 2019) – konpbriefingonacoandics-konpne2019
KONPNE briefing leaflet – questions to ask in Council (January 2019) – konpquestionsreics-konpne2019
National KONP flyer regarding long Term Plan (January 2019) – konplongtermplan

>>> Associated leaflets, books and resources:
can be found on our website Resources page
Opposing STPs and ACOs – Newcastle upon Tyne, March 2018

Up-to-date info about the current “Integrated Care Systems” is located here