A Blueprint for Integrated Care
Author:Philippe Houssiau, CSC
Panellists at HSJ’s recent dinner debate – in association with CSC – not only explored how patients could experience integrated care, they defined a charter for the ideal integrated care organisation.
At the opening of a HSJ integrated care dinner debate, the concept was introduced that integrated care is in the experience of the patient and the patient knows when they have received it. From that point on the discussion centred on how can we ensure that all patients have the experience of integrated care and what are the barriers to integrated care?
One of the initial questions raised was what change would make the biggest contribution to the development of integrated care. Many of the panelists agreed that getting the necessary Healthcare and social care patient information available to the right person at the right time would be a fundamental requirement if integrated care is to become standard.
It was clear from the discussion that there is currently wide enthusiasm from all parties involved to making information sharing a reality especially from local health and social care organisation however the approach that will be taken centrally is yet to be defined.
What was evident though was whatever approach is adopted; all stakeholders need to agree that integrated care means that it is integrated around the patient.
It brought the debate on to what would prove to be another central theme: the opportunities and challenges presented by bringing health and social care together. Culture was identified as a major barrier and a cultural changes would be required if we are to successfully bring together a healthcare and social care system which come from very different philosophical stand points. However, it was agreed that a blend of culture is necessary to facilitate a successful transition to integrated care.
Finally the panelists discussed and debated a charter for the ideal integrated care organisation which is outlined below.