The failure to deliver joined-up services is a common frustration for patients, service users, carers and NHS staff.
The following principles, agreed by 130 member organisations from health and social care, are set-out in this document from National Voices (a coalition of health and social care charities working to strengthen the voice of patients). These principles are based broadly on the experiences of service users and on research evidence. The aim is to keep the interests of patients at heart. Integrated care should (quotation):
- Be organised around the needs of individuals (person-centred).
- Focus always on the goal of benefiting service users.
- Be evaluated by outcomes, especially those which service users themselves report.
- Include community and voluntary sector contributions.
- Be fully inclusive of all communities in each locality.
- Be designed together with the involvement of users of the services and their carers.
- Deliver a new deal for people with long-term conditions.
- Respond to carers, as well as the people for whom they care.
- Be driven forwards by commissioners.
- Be encouraged through incentives.
- Aim to achieve public and social value, i.e. not just save money.
- Endure and be allowed to experiment.
Read more: Principles for Integrated Care (National Voices).
National Voices (2011). Principles for integrated care. London: National Voices, 2011. 12p.