HSJ’s round up of the day’s must read stories and debate

The 2018-19 NHS planning guidance was published both later and earlier than expected on Friday afternoon.

Later, because it normally comes out shortly before Christmas. Earlier, because last time it came out, in September 2016, it was supposed to last two years.

HSJ covered the document in depth.

The guidance revealed:

And finally: Accountable Care Systems are no more. Long live Integrated Care Systems.

The guidance takes the opportunity to rebrand ACSs, because “accountable care” has become confusing, and toxic, with upcoming judicial reviews on the similarly American-sounding accountable care organisations.

NHS England said that the refreshed planning guidance “signals full speed ahead” for ICSs and is now accepting applications for the next cohort - not mentioning that wave two had already been delayed. The first wave must produce a single operational plan, and there is no mention yet of any transformation funding bonanza.