Integrated Care Provider consultation

3 August–26 October 2018

Between 3 August–26 October 2018, NHS England (NHSE) carried out a public consultation on a draft contract for Integrated Care Providers (ICPs) – which were initially known as Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs).

An ICP was a population-based care model aiming to integrate health and care services. Commissioning integrated services from ICPs required a new type of contract, as opposed to the existing, different contracting arrangements for NHS commissioners to commission primary, hospital or community services.

In the draft contract, NHS England clarified that ICPs would not be a new type of legal entity but rather a provider organisation which enters into an ICP contract with a commissioner.

According to the consultation package, the contract aimed to:

  • support systems to deliver ‘integrated, population based care’
  • align incentives and reduce ‘conflicting priorities or requirements’ across different services
  • enable a flexible ‘population based payment approach’.

Background to the consultation

The consultation on contracting arrangements followed two judicial reviews of the proposed ICP model, implementation and payment approach (both ultimately decided in NHSE’s favour) and a Health and Social Care Committee report on integrated care.

NHSE’s initial plan had been to undertake testing of the draft contract before formal consultation. However, the organisation brought forward this process, explaining in the consultation package that this was ‘to take the opportunity to explain what the ICP Contract is for and when it might be used, and to dispel misconceptions about what integrated care models might mean for the NHS and people’s care.’

NHS England and NHS Improvement subsequently accepted a recommendation of the Health and Social Care Select Committee that only statutory NHS bodies should hold future ICP contracts.


NHS England.
Questions and Answers – Draft Integrated Care Providers (ICP) Contract – consultation package.
NHS England; 2018.

R (oao Jennifer Shepherd) v NHS England
[2018] EWHC 1067 (Admin)

R (oao Hutchinson & others) v SSHSC and NHS England
[2018] EWHC 1698 (Admin)

Health and Social Care Committee.
Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems inquiry.
House of Commons; 2018.