The Government has made it clear that better integration of care must be at the heart of the reformed health system. The Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund were asked by the Department of Health to support the development of a national strategy for the promotion of integrated care. The findings have been submitted to the DH and the NHS Future Forum.
An overview of the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund’s recommendations for the Department of Health for taking forward its strategy on integrated care
Set up as an independent group in order to ‘pause, listen and reflect’ on the Health and Social Care Bill, the NHS Future Forum made 16 key recommendations to the Government on the modernisation of health and care. Among the group’s recommendations was that the health service should ‘move beyond arguing for integration to making it happen, whilst exploring the barriers’.
In its report to the Government, published on 13 June 2011, the group called on the Government to build on the ideas about integrated care that the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund presented to the Forum's Listening Exercise. The Department of Health followed up the group’s recommendations by commissioning both our organisations to lead a project to support the future development of integrated care.
We need to move beyond arguing for integration to making it happen, whilst exploring the barriers
NHS Future Forum
This project synthesised learning from previous research undertaken by the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund, as well as other UK and international research and analysis, to determine the key factors that need to be in place to create a receptive context in which integrated care can operate. Throughout the work, we liaised with the NHS Future Forum to share thoughts and options for the future development of integrated care.
Gathering evidence and expert opinion
The elements of our work were:
Slide pack A slide pack that synthesises evidence and experience about integrated care has been developed, and covers definitions, evidence, case studies, enablers and facilitators, and overall lessons.
Expert seminars Two half-day events were held in October and November 2011 to explore people's practical experience of trying to develop integrated care; to scope out a framework for the development of possible demonstration sites; and to test out the ideas developed with policy-makers.
Telephone interviews/feedback with key informants Both the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund are engaged in providing organisational development support and action-research with a range of NHS and social care sites active in promoting and delivering integrated care. We sought the views of clinicians and managers in these sites as we worked to develop a framework for integrated care 'at scale'.
Briefing paper The final report of this work: Integrated care for patients and populations: Improving outcomes by working together (January 2012) outlines ideas and recommendations for the Department of Health in taking forward its strategy on promoting integrated care. It includes options for how integrated care might be successfully encouraged ‘at scale’ through demonstrator sites. This paper does not set out a detailed specification for the demonstration sites, but more of a framework for the promotion of integrated care based on some simple rules. It also includes a suggested approach to evaluating integrated care over a sustained period of time.