Skills for Care

Following the establishment of 42 integrated care systems (ICSs) across England in July 2022, organisations and professionals from across social care, health and other sectors have been working hard to establish improved and more integrated ways of working.

On this page, we showcase examples of where integration across sectors is already working well. You'll find examples of how leaders of social care organisations are involved with their ICS and innovative ideas for making integrated ways of working a success. 

We've grouped the case studies by region of England, to help you find examples from your local area or look for inspiration from other parts of the country. 


Diversifying the voice of social care representation in North East London ICS

North East London ICS has expanded social care representation at the top levels of the ICS – where previously the only social care ‘voice’ was Skills for Care’s locality manager in their position on the Local Workforce Action Board and People Board.

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Supporting social care partners to embed workforce initiatives in Sussex

With almost £250,000 invested to date into the sector to help with Continued Professional Development (CPD) and provision of education and skills training, Sussex ICS have shown a real commitment to engaging and supporting adult social care.

A big part of this work has been the planning to understand gaps, barriers and needs across the sector and aligning resources to meet these.

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Creating a central focus for recruitment and retention in the Black Country

Within the Black Country ICS, a positive programme of relationship-building has taken place over the past few years. This has been supported by social care providers being represented on the ICS People Board via Skills for Care’s locality manager.

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Moving beyond organisational boundaries in Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICS

Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICS is building an ICS Academy to support the health and social care workforce. Its targeted programme of education, learning and development will help them move towards their strategic objective of ‘one workforce’.

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Adapting plans and broadening the scope for engagement in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire ICS have demonstrated good practice in their ongoing work to embrace the distinct insights of health and care partners and to identify opportunities to upskill the workforce. Their social care nursing placement programme has also proved very successful in establishing greater relationships between health and social care providers, and the wider community, throughout the region. 

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Making workforce support as inclusive as possible for care providers in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS have embraced the role of social care in workforce planning. This includes engagement with Skills for Care’s locality manager, who has worked in partnership with the ICS for a number of years, sitting on the People Board and a number of its subgroups.

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Capitalising on existing networks and infrastructure to create opportunities for open-minded and broader integration in Greater Manchester

The Social Care Provider Network in Greater Manchester is a group of representatives from the hundreds of care providers across the area. They come together to discuss matters concerning care providers and represent them in feeding into ICS plans across the area. Skills for Care were commissioned to increase the number of providers in the network from December 2019 to March 2022. The project saw significant success. 

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Building a solid foundation of evidence and insights to support Cornwall’s ICS

Cornwall have embraced the insights and voices of care providers at multiple levels of ICS planning in their Single Workforce Planning framework.

Their vision for ‘One Cornwall Workforce’ was born in the pandemic and is now an integral part of the ICS developing a long-term plan for resourcing and planning across the area. 

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One Devon - Devon ICS' approach to integrating their workforce across the system

This case study was originally developed by NHS Employers, in support of the 'Integrated workforce thinking across systems' guidance. It highlights an example of how integrated approaches to workforce thinking is working well.

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Focusing resources on social care engagement and integration in South Yorkshire

Since it was established, South Yorkshire ICB have employed a dedicated Health and Social Care Integration Programme (HSCI) Lead. The HSCI lead works very closely with Skills for Care and a range of health and social care partners across the region to ensure that the work of the ICS is inclusive of social care.

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“Recognising the art of the possible” with Leeds Health and Care Academy

Leeds Health and Care Academy encourages and facilitates collaboration and breaks down barriers between the city’s health and care organisations, including primary care, hospital services, voluntary and community services, local authority and independent providers, and educational institutions.

The Academy team have found that fostering a sense of shared purpose and accountability has helped to unite its partners, and worked to ensure that health and care initiatives across the city are truly inclusive and collaborative at every stage.

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