Joint Forward Plans

NHSE have just produced new guidance to Integrated Care Boards on the development of Joint Forward Plans.

It places on ICBs a requirement to set out a plan to describe how they intend to arrange and or provide NHS services to meet the four purposes of integrated care which are:

Improve outcomes in population health and healthcare

Tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience, and access

Enhance productivity and value for money

Assist the NHS support broader social and economic development. 

Following the principle of subsidiarity, these should build on and reflect existing JSNAs and NHS delivery plans.

There is no requirement for a full formal public consultation, unless a significant reconfiguration or major service change is proposed (what would amount to this is not set out), but there is a strong expectation to consult and engage with people and with partners through various means, including through Healthwatch, ICPs, HWB Boards and scrutiny communities. The VCSE is specifically named in the group of partners to engage. It gives control to the ICB over who and how consultation should work except that it must, by law, include a written opinion from each HWB Board in the system: Clearly HWB Boards are and remain important.

The timeline is for a first draft to be shared by 31 March 2023 and final plans to be shared with NHSE by 30 June 2023.


JSNA = Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

ICP = Integrated Care Partnership

HWB = Health and Wellbeing Boards