What is an integrated care board (ICB)?

An integrated care board (or ICB) is a statutory NHS organisation which is responsible for developing a plan for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging for the provision of health services in a geographical area. 

Nationally, the expectation is that an ICB will:

  • Improve outcomes in population health and healthcare
  • Tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • Enhance productivity and value for money
  • Help the NHS support broader social and economic development

The initial major priority themes that have been identified in Lancashire and South Cumbria are:

  • Urgent and emergency care, discharge and elective care recovery
  • Deliver a challenging budget for 2022/23
  • Integration of community health and social care services
  • Primary care development
  • Improve quality and performance of our NHS trusts
  • Prevention priorities
  • Integrate health equity into our plans

These priorities will be fleshed out in our 10-year vision that we plan to develop in the coming months.


ICBs were legally established on 1 July 2022, replacing clinical commissioning groups (or CCGs), taking on the NHS planning functions previously held by CCGs (as well as absorbing some planning roles from NHS England). 

Here in Lancashire and South Cumbria our ICB has replaced NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre CCGs (which were previously known as the Fylde Coast CCGs), NHS Morecambe Bay CCG, West Lancashire CCG, NHS Chorley and South Ribble and NHS Greater Preston CCGs (previously known as Central Lancashire CCGs) and NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG and NHS East Lancashire CCG.

ICBs have their own leadership teams, which include a chair and chief executive, and also include members from NHS trusts/foundation trusts, local authorities, general practice, and an individual with expertise and knowledge of mental illness. 

But it’s difficult to talk about ICBs, without talking about the rest of the system.


Integrated care system

An integrated care system (or ICS) is a partnership of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, and to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.

Following several years of locally-led development, recommendations of NHS England and Royal Assent of the Health and Care Act (2022), 42 ICSs were established across England on a statutory basis on 1 July 2022.

Each ICS will include an integrated care board (as described above) and also an integrated care partnership (as described below).


Integrated care partnership

An integrated care partnership (or ICP) is a statutory committee jointly formed between the NHS integrated care board and all upper-tier local authorities that fall within the ICS area. The ICP will bring together a broad alliance of partners concerned with improving the care, health and wellbeing of the population, with membership determined locally. The ICP is responsible for producing an integrated care strategy on how to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the population in the ICS area.

In our area our ICP is known as the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership. You can find out more on the partnership's website.

You can find out more about integrated care on the NHS website (opens in new window).

Information about the development of integrated care in Lancashire and South Cumbria is available here

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