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Report calls for “collective approach” to health and care integration

National health and care organisations are calling for better leadership to drive integration of services and getting rid of silos

A report has urged health and social care organisations to have shared systems in place both for “individual care and population-based planning”.

The report, entitled Stepping up to the place: The key to successful health and care integration, has been published by NHS Confederation, the Local Government Association, NHS Clinical Commissioners and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. 

It sets out the organisations’ vision for what a “fully integrated, transformed system” should look like and calls for shared commitments to integration, both on a local and national level.

“Effective system leadership requires collaborative, inclusive governance arrangements across all agencies in a place – it is not enough to be a coalition of the willing, or of like-minded sections of the system. It is vital that every part of the local system is engaged,” the report said.

It also calls for “common information basis and sharing for planning purposes and shared care record” and for organisations to develop “a shared risk stratification model to identify individuals at risk”.

It criticises previous integration programmes using population-based tools for identifying the 1-2% of people who are most at risk for hospital admission for not making enough impact.

“The early evidence suggests that this narrow focus is not sufficient to have the impact desired on demand, outcomes or cost, and that leaders must extend the scope of transformation programmes to cover larger proportions of the population if they are to achieve their intended impact,” the report said.

The organisations behind the report are also developing a self-assessment toolkit for local leaders “to provide a framework with which to assess and challenge their current capacity to lead system transformation and to identify what they need to do”, which will be published in July 2016.

Read more about health and care integration

NHS Confederation chair Stephen Dorrell said that the report outlined that to improve the standard of care, “we must better integrate our health and social care services”.

“The NHS continues to face unprecedented demand and challenging financial circumstances. Against this background, we need to make sure we are utilising all the collective resources of a ‘place’ to benefit our local communities,” he said.

“There is now a real urgency to deliver on this ambition. Our priority now must be to turn rhetoric into action.”

In 2014, NHS England published its Personalised Health and Care 2020 framework, which sets out strict requirements for all health and care records to be digital and interoperable by 2020.

As part of the work, all clinical commissioning groups have been put in charge or making sure organisations in their local health and care economy are working towards the target. 

Read more on Healthcare and NHS IT

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