[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 10, May 2012].
The NHS Future Forum argued, in their June 2011 summary report, for a need to move beyond talking about care integration onto making it happen. The Department of Health therefore approached The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust to help in the development of a national strategy on integrated care (and asked for these ideas to be input back into the NHS Future Forum).
This report from The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust addresses the development of a national strategy for integrated care in 2012. It asserts that developing integrated care should be given a high priority, because integrated care is essential to meet the needs of the ageing population, people with long-term conditions and people with complex needs. These people need to be enabled to live healthy, fulfilling, independent lives.
The report examines the case for integrated care; the barriers to integrated care which have to be overcome (with suggestions how); those actions required by the Department of Health to provide a supporting framework which promotes integrated care; and the options for practical and technical steps to support the implementation of integrated care.
Clear, ambitious and measurable goals are proposed to improve the experience of patients and service users. Patients with complex needs should have a guaranteed entitlement to an agreed care plan, a named case manager responsible for coordinating care. They should be provided access to telehealth and telecare and a personal health budget where appropriate. Integrated care must be delivered “at scale and pace”.
Goodwin, N. Smith, J. [and] Davies, A. [et al]. Integrated care for patients and populations: improving outcomes by working together. London: The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust, January 2012.