ICS system control centres December target for minimum viable product

NHS England has this week shared an updated plan ‘going further on winter resilience plans’ with healthcare system leaders. The plan outlines support for clinical leaders to ensure risk is managed across the system and for all ICBs to implement system control centres (SCC) by December 2022.

The plan notes that all ICBs should take action to implement a SCC with a minimum viable product by 1 December 2022, to ensure visibility and a collective approach to managing system demand and capacity.

“SCCs will balance the risk across acute sector, community, mental health, and social care services with an aim of ensuring that clinical risk is appropriately dispersed across the whole ICS during periods of surge,” the document states.

Some of the metrics required for the SCC include: local primary care information returns; national ambulance coordination centre data; faster data flows for acute; national bed tracking dashboard; admissions and Covid-19 forecasting model; real time bed state for acute, mental health and community beds; real time virtual ward bed state; domiciliary care provider demand and capacity information; ECDS/ED information including intermediate urgent care settings; and primary care demand data.

Where systems and functions are in place already, the plans notes, “ICBs should complement and build on existing systems and process to meet the minimal viable product rather than duplicating.”

The overall aim of the SCCs is to deliver improved situational awareness, provide a holistic and real-time management of capacity and performance, coordinate action by placing shared data analytics as a central function, and to deliver improved clinical outcomes.

The plan continues: “SCCs must utilise national data sets to inform surveillance, decision making and risk management. Specifically, the SCC will have systems and process in place to monitor and respond to the nationally agreed target metrics including but not limited to: type 1 ED performance, >12-hour length stays in ED, category 1, 2 and 3 ambulance response times, OPEL status, community rehab bed occupancy and virtual ward bed state.

SCCs must also utilise real-time data to ensure proactive management of ambulance handover delays and for the proactive and reactive management of actions that will support ambulance response times.

Other datasets required include the number of staff sickness, number of 111 calls, ambulance handovers, average weekend discharge balance, beds occupied with COVID-19, GP absence rate, nurse to patient ratio, and the number of children and young people on a paediatric ward awaiting a Tier 4 bed.

To read the publication, please click here.