Accountable Care System

Posted on January 25, 2018

The NHS, Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly are currently developing plans to bring together local health and care services through an Accountable Care System (ACS), not an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO). This will initially operate in shadow form, and reflects our longstanding commitment to planning and delivering care working as a more integrated system.

An ACS brings together the NHS and councils to plan and deliver health and care services, with a focus on improving people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, and working as a system rather than being organisationally focused. This approach responds to feedback we’ve had from staff and patients during many years about the benefits of delivering and receiving care in more joined up and holistic ways.

Our ACS involves NHS Kernow; Cornwall Council; Council of the Isles of Scilly; NHS England; Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

We want to work differently from 1 April by bringing together a small integrated strategic commissioning function which would jointly commission health, care and wellbeing services, to test out a new more integrated way of working.

We will continue to operate within the existing statutory framework which means the CCG, councils, NHS England, and NHS provider trusts will remain the statutory accountable bodies in the system.

An ACO is a term used to describe an overarching organisation which would hold the contract for health and care services. There are currently no plans to establish an ACO in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.