Future Planning Model: DoH Consultation webinar

The Department of Health is currently undertaking a consultation to gather views on the draft Framework which will underpin Integrated Systems model. The deadline for response to the consultation is 17 September 2021.

A programme of work has commenced to develop a Future Planning Model to replace the existing commissioning arrangements and processes in Northern Ireland. The work currently being undertaken by the Department of Health aims to see the development of a new Integrated Care System (ICS) model in NI, whereby local providers and communities would be empowered to come together to plan, manage and deliver care for their local population based on a population health approach, with regional and specialised services planned, managed and delivered at a regional level.

The Department of Health are currently undertaking a consultation to gather views on the draft Framework which will underpin this model. The document provides a blueprint for the future of planning and managing health and social care services in Northern Ireland. It provides an overview and guidance on the proposed model to allow the system to design and adopt the relevant approaches, policies and structures required to bring the model forward.

NICVA recently convened a consultation event to enable the voluntary and community sector to hear from the Department of Health on the project. The aim of the session was to set out the background of the project and the work that is being taken forward to date to develop the framework and in terms of what the model is proposing with regards to how services are planned, and interventions are managed in the future.

The Integrated Care System model

The development of a new integrated care model has been commenced as recognition that the health and social care system is and has been under pressure, a demand that is outstripping capacity and people are waiting too long for treatment and assessment, all these challenges were in existence before covid, and have now been further compounded during the pandemic.

The pandemic has shone a light on the inequalities which continue to persist in our society and the impact on the population and consequently the demand for services.

It was highlighted that the large proportion of the factors that do impact on our health and well-being are actually beyond the control of the traditional health and social care model i.e. socioeconomic factors, physical environment and health behaviours. So, in planning a sustainable health model for Northern Ireland, it is important to look at how services are planned in an integrated way.

Focus should be on prevention and early intervention while ensuring that people can get the right care in the right place and at the right time.


The Health Minister has granted approval for a programme of work that will see the development of an Integrated Care System (ICS) model in Northern Ireland which will adhere to the principles of local level decision making with the delegation of decision making as well as funding. It should be noted however that there will be an exception of specialised services which will be planned, managed and delivered. The model will be supported by an outcomes-based approach underpinned by accountability.

The draft framework sets the blueprint for the establishment of an integrated care system in Northern Ireland. Developed with input form a range of stakeholders, the framework outlines a model which, at its core, is a bout partnership and collaboration between sectors and organisations. With a purpose to improve the health and well-being of the population, the framework is about delivering services and support in a joined-up way. A key aspect of the proposed model is that all the relevant partners are involved and invested in delivering improved outcomes together.

The Proposed Framework

Overall, the framework is about autonomy and enabling decision making at a local level. It includes details on:

  • The challenges and opportunities the system faces and the strategic context for the way forward;
  • The population health approach, definitions, vision, values and principles that will underpin the model;
  • How regional and local levels will be developed and operate; and
  • The partnership approach that must be adopted between sectors and organisations moving forward.

The framework aims to provide clarity and direction where appropriate, while ensuring a level of flexibility is built into the system.

The Approach

Due to the scale and size of the project, the development of the framework has been separated into three phases.

Phase 1 – Development and implementation of an ICS model across all regions of NI operating within existing funding and accountability models.

Phase 2 – Based on learning from Phase 1, Phase 2 will develop final ICS model for NI for approval. This phase will include consultation on the final model and consideration of any necessary legislative requirements.

Phase 3 – Implementation of final agreed ICS model with associated funding models and governance frameworks.

The Consultation

The consultation was launched on the 19th July and aims to gather information and views on the draft framework. Information and comments of the framework are welcome from stakeholders including key professional groups, organisations and partners involved in the planning and delivery of interventions and services.

For further information on the draft Framework and on how to respond visit Future Planning Model - Targeted Stakeholder Consultation on the Department of Health website.

The deadline for response to the consultation is 17 September 2021.

Share your COVID-19 support service

Organisations providing support to people and communities can share their service information here

> Share your support

Not a NICVA member yet?

Save time, money and energy. Join NICVA and you’ll be connecting in to a strong network of local organisations focused on voluntary and community activity.

Join Us

NICVA now welcomes all small groups for free.

Read more on...