Letter from Jane Halpin on the ICS boundary decision

Dear colleague

As you know, we have been waiting for some time for a decision to be made about whether the boundary of our Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) area will change or not.

There have been well-reasoned arguments both for and against changes to our area ever since Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, which were the forerunner to ICSs, were first established in NHS planning guidance in 2015.

In our area, similar numbers of patients from both counties use services based in and around Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, which supported the original inclusion of the three west Essex district council areas into our ICS ‘footprint’.  Irrespective of ICS boundaries, this means that we will always need to work with both the Essex and Hertfordshire county councils’ approaches to social care and public health.

It was announced today that our ICS boundary will remain the same, incorporating the three areas currently covered by West Essex CCG, East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys CCG.

I am glad that a decision has now been made. This should hopefully put an end to the uncertainty that a lot of colleagues, particularly those from West Essex CCG, have been experiencing.  The professional partnerships we have invested in are benefitting our communities and colleagues alike and we can now move ahead with confidence as we plan our future as members of a statutory Integrated Care System from next April.

Clearly, no boundary is ideal, and we understand the concerns of those who were keen to see changes.  We will continue to work closely with all partners, including those across Essex in particular, to create a healthier future for our residents, patients, service users and staff.

Our next all-staff briefing is due take place at 2pm on 10 August.  Our three Managing Directors and I will share any updates we have with you then and do our very best to answer your questions. In the meantime, please remember that the new ICS transition website has a Q&A section where you can pose your queries (anonymously if you prefer).  The link to this section of the new site is here: https://nhs.sharepoint.com/sites/06K_ICSTransition/Lists/StaffQandAs/AllItems.aspx

Yours sincerely

Dr Jane Halpin
Joint Chief Executive Officer
Herts and West Essex ICS and CCGs

Any questions?

If you have any questions contact the Communications team, so we can take them into account in future staff briefings.

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