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Embedding public health across Integrated Care Systems

Position statements · Public health workforce | September 27, 2023

Why we have written this paper

Public health is an integral component of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and place-based partnerships.  

Local leadership for public health in England sits in local authorities (LAs) with DsPH and their teams. They are ideally placed to work with and across the system to translate evidence into action to address the wider determinants of health and health inequalities. It is crucial that ICSs work with DsPH and their teams and do not develop in parallel.  

The purpose of this document is to discuss the enablers and opportunities to effectively engage and embed public health across the ICSs.  

Our recommendations

  • LAs and the NHS must be considered equal partners within ICSs and be resourced as such.  


  • Whole system understanding is crucial in order for ICSs to function effectively and truly collaborate across the system.  


  • The governance structures and accountability for ICS partners should be clearly outlined to ensure clarity for all relevant partners.  


  • There must be clarity across all partners as to what the purpose of the ICS is beyond the NHS’s constitutional pledges. 


  • ICSs require a long-term focus, prioritising prevention and tackling the causes of health inequalities.  


  • There should be co-terminosity between ICSs and LAs.  


  • ICSs should have a clear target to increase their spend on prevention.  
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