Our work with Integrated Care Systems

The Influencing Team has, in collaboration with sector partners, developed a suite of six case studies to show how, in practice, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) can take a better approach to delivering palliative end-of-life care (PEoLC).

Background to our ICS engagement

The NHS in England is made up of 42 ICSs. ICSs are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services in England to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.   

Each ICS has an Integrated Care Board (ICB) they are responsible for developing a plan to meet the health needs of the population in a geographical area. To support guidance for ICBs with their legal responsibility for the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care (PEoLC), Sue Ryder brought colleagues together from across the sector to outline recommendations to help improve how the ICS system works in practice.

Read our joint recommendations: 'Enablers for end-of-life care: Key recommendations for commissioning and delivering better end-of-life care within Integrated Care Systems (ICSs)'

One year on from the publication of these recommendations, we have released a set of six case studies. These case studies highlight how some ICSs are delivering the recommendations that we set out in Autumn 2022 in innovative and exciting ways. 

We hope these case studies help inspire ICS colleagues to make PEoLC the best it can be by adopting the recommendations, ideas and examples found within them.

Integrated Care Systems case studies

1. A well-functioning PEoLC collaborative in West Yorkshire

This case study explores how ten hospices in West Yorkshire are working together as a Collaborative to improve PEoLC for people across West Yorkshire. By coming together to provide mutual support and improve their response to the pandemic, the hospices saw that they could work together and achieve more through a shared voice.

View the West Yorkshire ICS case study

2. A local solution to PEoLC workforce challenges in Sussex

In this case study, we learn about ‘Thrive’ (Team leaders who Help their teams Realise their potential and Inspire them to support and deliver Vital hospice services Every day) the Sussex Hospices’ Collaborative’s leadership and management development programme. The programme was developed and implemented for staff at all seven hospices, across Sussex, to reduce staff turnover and develop leadership. 

View the Sussex ICS case study

3. Ongoing and meaningful engagement and involvement from an ICS with patients, families and the community across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

This case study showcases how Hampshire and the Isle of Wight ICS successfully engaged with patients, carers and the community to develop a PEoLC Strategy, coproduced by and for the local community. 

View the Hampshire and the Isle of Wight ICS case study

4. A positive approach to understanding and measuring population need for PEoLC in Suffolk and North East Essex

This case study illustrates how an integrated PEoLC Alliance, comprising of health and social care partners, is enabling its local commissioners to gain a better understanding of current population needs, and where to successfully target work to address inequalities of provision in their area.

View the Suffolk and North East Essex PEoLC case study

5. Development or implementation of an innovative service/role in response to a challenge or to meet local population health need in Dorset

The Hospice at Home service based at the Macmillan Unit for East Dorset and the Community Night Nursing Team highlights how, by working together to improve PEoLC provision at night, within the Dorset ICS the service is providing a better quality of care to patients and improving staff wellbeing and morale. 

View the Dorset ICS case study

6. Using data effectively, for example improving data sharing between providers and an ICS to improve service planning and patient care across Derbyshire

This case study shows how PEoLC service providers from the NHS and charity sector across Derbyshire are working together to map service provision across the county, so that gaps in provision can be properly understood and addressed.

View the Derbyshire ICS case study

What is next?

We will be talking about these case studies and sharing them throughout our influencing work, both nationally and locally.

They’re an important part of our engagement and influencing toolkit and help to strengthen our evidence around the way PEoLC could be improved. They provide examples of innovative and successful ways of working that can be replicated and expanded to ensure more people are supported to get the vital services they need. 

Get in touch

For more information or to discuss our work with ICSs please contact