Horizontal integration between health and social care services is seen as keen to both enable timely discharge from hospital and to provide preventative support than enables individuals to maintain their independence. The integrated care pioneer programme in England is seeking to explore innovative approaches to improving integration between health and social care. Twenty-five areas (known as Pioneers) have been selected to experiment with new ways of coordinating these services in order to improve the integrated care experienced by individuals and their families.
The Pioneers are being supported by a number of national partners and other experts and have developed local approaches to better integrating across health and social care services. Whilst all different and tailored to their local aspects, there are aspects that are common to many. These include an emphasis on general practice as the co-ordinating hub, mulit-disciplinary teams to bring together different professionals, new approaches to self-management, and engagement of the voluntary and community sector. The programme is therefore potentially a rich source of learning for other countries seeking to improve horizontal integration across health and care services.
A five year longer term evaluation of the pioneer programme is underway. This will assess the extent to which the Pioneers are successful in providing ‘person-centred coordinated care’, including improved outcomes and quality of care, in a cost-effective way. The evaluation also has a strong action research component which seeks to share emerging findings with the Pioneers and the wider policy and practice communities and support them in responding to these in their work.
By the time of the conference the evaluation will be two years in. It is proposed that the evaluation team run a whole parallel session which will provide - an overview of the integrated care pioneer programme; the evaluation methodology including economic evaluation of multi-disciplinary teams; and emerging findings from panel surveys and interviews. It is also hoped to engage 1 or 2 pioneers sites in the session (details to be confirmed).
Limitations of the session are that the evaluation is only half-way through, but as there will be approximately two years of work from a large scale project there will be insights of merit.
Miller, Robin, Judith Smith, Mary Alison Durrand, Bob Erens, and Ties Hoomans. 2017. “Integrated Care Pioneers”. International Journal of Integrated Care 17 (5): A83. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.3388
Miller, Robin, Judith Smith, Mary Alison Durrand, Bob Erens, and Ties Hoomans. “Integrated Care Pioneers”. International Journal of Integrated Care 17, no. 5 (2017): A83. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.3388