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Principles laid out for integrated out-of-hospital care

Integration ‘essential’ for quality and sustainability

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Collective leadership and an open-book approach are among the principles outlined in a new report on the delivery of effective integrated out-of-hospital care.

The report, published today by the NHS Confederation and Royal College of General Practitioners sets out six key principles needed for effective integrated care – connecting primary, community and social care - for adults, children and young people.

The current set of financial and demographic challenges faced across health and social care mean that integration is necessary and the effective delivery of integrated care vital, the report states.

In the NHS Confederation's member survey 2012, 77% of respondents identified integration as an essential reform, the most commonly cited area. The survey underlined the importance of integrated care to ensuring financial sustainability and improved quality across the service.

The report: Making integrated out-of-hospital care a reality, puts forward the following six key principles:

  1. Making best use of resources to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for the whole population.
  2. Empowering patients to have more control over their care packages, strengthen prevention, self-care and wellbeing.
  3. Targeting services – focusing integrated services on those patient groups most likely to derive the most benefit.
  4. Collective leadership and joint working – health and social care leaders jointly deliver solutions appropriate to their own communities.
  5. Incentivising integrated care – develop mechanisms to reward organisations and staff to deliver integrated care.
  6. Ensuring openness and transparency – using an open-book approach towards all aspects of integrated care.

The report outlines the issues raised at a round-table event convened by the NHS Confederation and the RCGP, held earlier in the year.

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