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GPs and NHS trusts to work together to champion integration

NHS Providers and NAPC collaborate to support long-term plan’s call for more integrated and health and care services

Louise Prime

Thursday, 10 October 2019

The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) and NHS Providers are to collaborate more closely to help fulfil the NHS long-term plan’s ambition of better integration between primary and secondary care, bringing about more integrated and personalised health and care services for local populations, they have announced.

NHS Providers, which represents hospital, mental health, community and ambulance services that treat patients and service users in the NHS, said yesterday that “trust boards already see primary care as one of their most important partners in ensuring integrated pathways and the delivery of high quality care that patients expect and deserve”. But it said this latest move will offer providers across both primary and secondary care support and practical help to deliver the long-term plan’s ‘”triple aim” – better health for everyone, better care for all patients, and sustainability, both for the local NHS system and for the wider NHS.

NHS Providers said it and the NAPC will work together to explore and promote effective collaboration between primary care and trusts and will place strong emphasis on learning from NAPC’s primary care home model – “the model that has influenced national primary care network policy and shown the ‘art of the possible’”.

NAPC’s joint national clinical director Dr Nav Chana commented: “As we continue to innovate and shape the future of health care – building on the primary care home model – it is clear there is need to improve integration across providers within neighbourhoods with a focus on improving population health.“

The evidence suggests that key to the success of integrated care will be multi-agency high-performing teams working across providers in the system taking a proactive approach to improving the health and wellbeing of their population.

“Over the coming months we will be designing and testing integration models with providers based on our organisational development approach – which has been tried and tested with primary care homes – to fulfil the aspirations of the NHS long term plan. The aim is to come up with practical real solutions for the provider community which can be rolled out across England.”

NHS Providers said the partnership is recognition of the fact that trusts see primary care colleagues as “one of their most important partners” in service delivery. Its chief executive Chris Hopson added: “We know that it is vital that primary and secondary care work together seamlessly across this artificial divide at the heart of the NHS. This is essential for integrated, high-quality and efficient patient care.

“This partnership comes at a critical and opportune time as we see the roll out of primary care networks at a local level and as we seek to support and learn from a range of models for trusts to progress partnerships with primary care bodies. This includes structural integration, networks, partnerships and opportunities to work with primary care at scale via federations and super partnerships.“As part of our new three-year strategy, we agreed with members that we would strengthen our work in primary care, broaden our understanding, explore and promote models of primary/secondary care collaboration and develop deeper relationships with key primary care colleagues.”

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