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Integrated care (1/2)

Authors and contributors: Russ Charlesworth, Martin Ferguson

Integrated care (1/2)

It has been clear for many years that attempting to push the NHS’s current hospital-centric model of care to meet rising demand is treating the symptom, not the underlying causes. Rather, the NHS and social care “systems” need to operate fundamentally differently. They need to provide more care in people’s homes and within the community, while breaking down barriers between services.

Breaking down barriers means co-ordinating the work of GPs, community services and hospitals to meet the needs of people requiring care. A growing number of people have long-term medical conditions that require care and support from a variety of health and social care teams which, if they are to be effective, need close co-ordination and understanding.

To help manage increasing demand, the NHS must also place greater priority on the prevention of ill health by working closely with local authorities and other agencies to tackle the wider determinants that affect wellbeing. It has to reduce health inequalities to tackle emerging societal issues, such as child obesity, and find alternate ways of effectively engaging with the public to change lifestyles and behaviours that contribute to preventable ill health.

Publications in this series: