The Local Government Association (LGA) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have produced a new resource with 15 best practice actions to support integration.
Integrated care takes the commitment of time, energy and resources from all local partners. Change can be slow, with setbacks common, but there are a handful of actions local leaders can take to accelerate progress, say SCIE and LGA.
The actions for integration in the new resource draw on evidence about what works from international research, emerging best practices and engagement with the organisations' stakeholders and partners. The actions are aligned with national policy, legal frameworks and regulatory guidance, and they allow for local variety in system design and service delivery.
For each action, the resource sets out the rationale, 'how-to' tips, and signposts to evidence and examples of good practice.
The 15 best practice actions for integration are:
1. Risk Stratification: Identify the people in your area who are most likely to benefit from
integrated care and proactive and preventative support.
2. Access to information: Ensure individuals and their carers have easy and ready access to information about local services and community assets; and that they are supported to navigate these options and to make informed decisions about their care.
3. Multidisciplinary team (MDT) training: Invest in the development and joint training of MDTs to transform their skills, cultures and ways of working.
4. Personalised care plans: Develop personalised care plans together with the people using services, their family and carers.
5. Rapid response: Through a single-point of access, provide access to integrated rapid response services for urgent health and social care needs.
6. Operational framework: Create an integrated care operational framework that is right for the local area, and which aligns service delivery and service changes to a clear set of benefits for local people.
7. Integrated commissioning: Use integrated commissioning to enable ready access to joined-up health and social care resources and transform care.
8. Shared records: Identify and tackle barriers to sharing digital care records to ensure providers and practitioners have ready access to the information they need.
9. Community capacity: Build capacity for integrated community-based health, social care and mental health services, focusing on care closer to home.
10. Partnership with voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector: Foster partnerships to develop community assets that offer a wider range of services and support.
11. Common purpose: Agree a common purpose and a shared vision for integration, including
setting clear goals and outcomes.
12. Collaborative culture: Foster a collaborative culture across health, care and wider partners.
13. Resource allocation: Maintain a cross-sector agreement about the resources available for
delivering the model of care, including community assets.
14. Accountability: Provide system governance and assure system accountability.
15. Workforce planning: Lead system-wide workforce planning to support delivery of integrated care.
Read the full document for guidance on implementing these actions and more information about the resource.