In June 2017, Berkshire West was been recognised by NHS England (NHSE) as an ICS Exemplar area covering 528,000 people in Reading, Wokingham and Berkshire West. It is one of 10 integrated care systems across England.

An Integrated Care System (ICS) is one in which local NHS organisations,  often in partnership with local authorities, choose to take on clear collective responsibility for resources and population health, providing joined up, better co-ordinated care.

The Berkshire West ICS partnership includes:

  • Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust - An acute hospital
  • Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust - A community / mental health Foundation Trust
  • GP services in Berkshire West which are grouping themselves into four locality / neighbourhood aligned ‘alliances’

The Berkshire West ICS is works closely with South Central Ambulance Trust and the three local authorities in West Berkshire, Wokingham and Reading to drive integration between health and social care.

The vision

The main objective of the Berkshire West's ICS is to ensure people's experience of healthcare services will continue to improve; that its population continues to benefit from improved health and wellbeing outcomes and that the local NHS is financially sustainable for the future. Specifically this means:

  • Making faster progress in transforming the way care is delivered, as set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, and in particular making tangible progress in urgent and emergency care reform, strengthening general practice and improving mental health and cancer services.
  • Managing these and other improvements within a shared financial control total and to deliver the system-wide efficiencies necessary to manage the local NHS budget.
  • Integrating services and funding, operating as an integrated health system, to manage the health of the local population, keeping people healthier for longer and reducing avoidable demand for healthcare services.
  • Demonstrating what can be achieved with strong local leadership and increased freedoms and flexibilities, and share learning with the wider NHS.
How will the ICS benefit patients?

More people now need care across a number of different settings; hospitals, primary care, clinics, nursing homes and home care agencies – which are often not well co-ordinated. The result of this for our patients is a system which produces variable quality of care and where patients may experience lapses in care as they move between organisations. Our aim is that the ICS facilitates more collaborative working between the organisations in Berkshire West, which will ensure our services meet the health and care needs of the local population.