The fourteenth conference on Integrated Care attracted double the number of attendees compared with last year and a far larger number of practitioners (both commissioners and providers) than at previous events. There is no doubt that the issues around providing a holistic and patient-centred approach to healthcare in the UK and Europe are gaining traction.
Senior representatives of both the European Commission and World Health Organisation attended the conference which set out to connect policy-makers, practitioners and researchers working towards achieving integrated care.
PPL’s take on the value case for integrated care
Our workshop at ICIC14 looked specifically at the value case for integrated care.
The session built on the work of Michael Porter and others on the transition to value-based healthcare - the need to fix the health system by maximising value for patients through a radical shift from the traditional supply-driven approach. In essence, changing the thinking from what physicians do, to what patients need.
Why is this important? Former Chief Executive of NHS England, David Nicholson, said in July 2013: “Our analysis shows that if we continue with the current model of care and expected funding levels, we could have a funding gap of £30bn between 2013/14 and 2020/21, which will continue to grow and grow quickly if action isn’t taken.”
Understanding value in the context of healthcare is vital to drive and direct change and this is certainly true when it comes to delivering the whole-scale system transformation needed to achieve integrated care.
The workshop focused on three key areas of discussion:
- What do we mean by value in the context of health and wellbeing?
- Why would we need a value case for integrating care?
- How can a successful value case translate into improved outcomes?
Integrating care Europe-wide - overcoming the challenges
It was interesting that the workshop participants, drawn from all over Europe and internationally, face similar challenges in achieving integrated care. The group unanimously agreed on the huge potential benefits of getting it right.
Common challenges faced include:
- Identifying and defining measures of value in the context of the complex world of health care.
- Securing engagement and consensus of this definition of value across a broad range of service users.
- Evidencing improvement with an open approach to sharing information and a robust baseline to track change against.
It seems to us that there is huge commonality in the pressures and opportunities being discussed, even in areas of the world that are seen as quite pioneering.
There is a clear struggle to convert consensus on the need for change into better co-ordination of care around patients and service users, at scale.