DoH to move toward an integrated care and health model

The integration of health and social care in 2018 will result in fewer patients that "fall through the cracks" the Department of Health has said.

Speaking in an interview for May's edition of Public Servant magazine, care and support minister Norman Lamb said joined-up health and community care is not currently the norm, leaving people with disjointed care and support.

He said: "I have come in with a very clear view about the imperative of making integrated care mainstream. I really want to push the boundaries and bring the disparate parts of the system together in a much more rational way.

"The objective of getting clinicians much more at the forefront of decisions about how money is spent, and having a much greater democratic accountability through the role of the health and wellbeing boards linking the two systems together, has the potential for a significant shift towards an integrated care model."

Lamb will announce a series of local integration experiments in the coming weeks and indicated the task will necessitate a new approach to regulation to encourage both sectors to recognise and embrace the benefits of joint working.

He said: "It is about top-down facilitation, rather than imposing anything. I absolutely do not want more prescriptive regulation because I think you can often lose sight of the bigger picture. You can prescribe everything and yet still end up with awful care."

"If you think about the duties within the Health and Social Care Act around integration, the proposed provision around integrated care within the Care and Support Bill, the priority we have given to it in the mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board, the duty we have placed on Monitor to promote integrated care - all of these things drive the system towards a model of care that is shaped around the needs of the patient, rather than what I regard as the very institutionally fragmented system that we have inherited"

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