In the first ever system-wide ‘shared commitment’, 12 of the national leaders of health and care have signed up to a series of commitments on how they will help local areas integrate services.
‘Integrated care and support: our shared commitment’ sets out how local areas can use existing structures like Health and Wellbeing Boards to bring together local authorities, the NHS, social care providers, education, housing services, public health and others to make further steps towards integration.
The plans, which will be delivered by national leaders and local areas working closely together, include:
- an ambition to make joined-up and coordinated health and care the norm
- the first ever agreed definition of what people say good integrated care and support looks and feels like, developed by National Voices
- new ‘pioneer’ areas around the country to be announced in September 2013
- new measures of people’s experience of joined-up care and support by the end of this year
Partners involved in this initiative include the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Care Quality Commission, Department of Health, Local Government Association, Monitor, NHS England, NHS Improving Quality, Health Education England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Public Health England, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Think Local Act Personal in association with National Voices.
Norman Lamb said:
People don’t want health care or social care, they just want the best care. This is a vital step in creating a truly joined-up system that puts people first. Unless we change the way we work, the NHS and care system is heading for a crisis. This national commitment to working together is an important moment in ensuring we have a system which is fit for the future.
Local areas interested in becoming pioneers need to make an expression of interest by the end of June. Read the Pioneers expressions of interest letter to find out more.
This agreed definition or ‘narrative’ of integrated care has been developed by National Voices, a national coalition of health and care charities. It provides a guide to the sort of things that integrated care will achieve, such as better planning, more personal involvement of the person using services, and free access to good information. Find out more on the NHS England site.