What is integrated care?

This research report investigates what is actually meant by integrated care and explores the concepts that underpin it.

Report

Published: 10/06/2011

Download the report [PDF 218.4KB]

The current focus on integrated care within the NHS is the result of concern about service fragmentation for patients, and in particular a lack of coordination between primary, secondary and tertiary care.

What is integrated care? investigates what is actually meant by integrated care and explains the distinction between the terms ‘integrated care’ and ‘integration’. It explores integration from an NHS perspective, identifies the concepts that underpin integrated care and suggests how these can be used to inform practical integration efforts both within and beyond the NHS.

This report forms part of the Nuffield Trust’s extensive programme of work on integrated care

Achieving integrated care requires that those involved with planning, financing and providing services have a shared vision, employ a combination of processes and mechanisms, and ensure that the patient’s perspective remains a central organising principle throughout. This report includes a description of the main types of integration and key questions to ask to assist those involved in decision-making.

What is integrated care? will be of interest to health and social care policy-makers, senior managers and practitioners, and NHS commissioners, as well as academics and researchers in the fields of health and social policy.

The report forms part of the Nuffield Trust’s extensive programme of work on integrated care, which is examining the potential of new forms of care that are intended to benefit both patients and taxpayers.

Suggested citation

Shaw S, Rosen R and Rumbold B (2011) What is integrated care? Research report. Nuffield Trust.