The desire for better co-ordinated health and care services, designed with and responsive to the needs of individuals and communities, has been recognised for many years. However, as demands on the NHS and local government services grow there is also growing recognition that current ways of working neither produce the best results nor are financially sustainable into the medium to longer term.
National Voices, the leading national coalition of health and social care charitites in England, have defined a number of principles for Integrated Care, based around the recognition that the "lack of joined-up care is the biggest frustration for patients, service users and carers. Conversely, achieving integrated care would be the biggest contribution the health and care services could make to improving quality and safety." These principles include the need to organise care around the needs of individuals; focus on outcomes, especially those which service users themselves report; undertand and include the contributions of community and voluntary sector; and to design care together with the users of services and carers.
In the NHS Mandate launched November 2012 the Secretary of State for Health wrote "An ageing population, rising costs of treatments, and a huge increase in the number of us with long-term, often multiple conditions are rewriting our relationship with health and care, all at a time of acute pressure on public finances. These challenges go to the heart of the objectives I am setting the NHS Commissioning Board." This has been followed most recently by the government's launch of "Integrated Care: Our Shared Commitment" setting out the need for integration to proceed now "at scale and at pace" if these challenges are to be successfully met.
PPL has recently been engaged by a number of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and cross-organisational partnerships to help support making integated care - that is, cost-effective, person-centred, co-ordinated care that delivers help and support at the right time, in the right place and in the right way - an everyday reality.
PPL Managing Director Simon Morioka said of the most recent work, "We recognise that there are many excellent models of integration out there already, both across the UK and Internationally. Many people may never have realised that health and social services in England weren't already joined up. Yet most of us have experienced or know someone who has experienced the challenges of living with long-term health and care needs, being hospitalised un-necessarily for want of basic help and care structured around their needs. Our belief is that with the right set of values, skills, experience and understanding, and working with colleagues in health, local and central government, and the voluntary and community sector, we can make a genuine difference in this area over the coming months."
PPL is now working with in partnership over one-third of all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities in London to put the patient at the centre of health and care delivery. This work includes providing support to health and care commissioners and providers to proactively identify service user and carer needs, co-design and implement new models of service delivery, and establish commissioning and governance frameworks that ensure funding, information and assistance are co-ordinated around those in need.
For more information on our work in this area please contact Claire Kennedy.