PPL’s co-founders, Claire Kennedy and Simon Morioka, took part in the recent King’s Fund Integrated Care Summit, where they helped lead a breakfast workshop on the challenges of implementing joined-up care.
With draft Better Care Fund plans submitted in September, now is an important time for the integration agenda as health care providers move from planning to delivering integrated, person-centred care.
Ten key recommendations for successful integration
A panel of experts, led by chair Sir Neil McKay, kicked off the workshop by explaining the value of developing approaches to healthcare provision based around patient outcomes. Ten recommendations for successful integration were put forward for delegates, including frontline practitioners and policy makers, to challenge and discuss.
One central theme that rang true for delegates across a wide range of organisations was that user-centred, coordinated care for citizens is possible, but only by joining up health care and social care alongside initiatives to keep people out of hospital.
The experience of panellists reflected this with case studies including from PPL advisor Professor Paul Corrigan, a former Chief Executive of Torbay Primary Care Trust.
Building the healthcare system around key outcomes
A reoccurring point was that healthcare should be built around key outcomes: keeping service users safe, healthy and independent and importantly treating people as close to home as possible – and, ideally, in their own home. These outcomes were presented as central to designing healthcare systems and building shared objectives to alter behaviour and create pioneering integrated care. Delegates saw this as the way to avoid siloed and isolated initiatives that can lead to a broad range of organisational difficulties.
BCF – a tool to start change
Throughout the discussion the Better Care Fund (BCF) was viewed as an important tool for a healthcare provider looking to begin the process of change, but not necessarily at the heart of transformation itself.
The crucial thing is being able to take the initiative and not being dictated to on reform; in part because integrated care requires ‘buy in’ from staff who need to be assured that change will benefit service users.
Delegates felt that integrated care cannot be seen as a specific type of organisational structure, but rather an approach to healthcare that will inevitably change the way services are organised. Structures mean very little if a service provider doesn’t attempt to own the integrated care agenda - forcing change through just won’t work.
As PPL advisor and author of the report on Whole Person Care, Sir John Oldham summarised: “Beyond the catalyst, the BCF can’t be in lieu of a continuous strategy for supporting the development of community services and social care to match the needs of the population.”
For the full list of the ten things every provider needs to know about integration please see here.