The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

Poor working relationships, hostility and an ICP on hold.

That is the state of affairs with Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group’s planned launch of the NHS’ first integrated care provider.

Sir Mike Richards’ review has warned of ‘really poor’ working relationships and ‘hostility’ within the system, HSJ has learned.

NHS England last month stopped proceeding this year with the final stage in its controversial creation of the proposed ICP.

Plans were launched in 2016, under which it was envisaged the commissioner would award a single £360m contract for all community and primary care to a new organisation. Dudley Integrated Health and Care Trust was created in April 2020.

Some services have transferred to the new entity, but the community services run by local acute provider Dudley Group Foundation Trust, which were due to be the largest element of the new contract, have not been included.

Radicalism vs reality

Whether a blessing or a curse, the NHS will become a different landscape from the one we knew before the coronavirus pandemic.

That presents various opportunities to reset the health service, after what has been the most challenging period in its entire history, but how it goes about that is a different question entirely.

Sir Simon Stevens told HSJ’s leadership congress that the NHS has a chance to think “very radically” about how it redesigns elective pathways post-covid.

His desire to do things differently is a sound one, but how will it evolve in practicality?