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NEWS STORY

Care Minister announces details of fourteen areas leading the way in delivering better joined up care

01/11/2013

Fourteen pioneering initiatives are transforming the way health and care is being delivered to patients by bringing services closer together than ever before.

The pioneers are showcasing innovative ways of creating change in the health service, which the Government and national partners want to see spread across the country, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced today.

The fourteen ambitious initiatives are blazing a trail for change by pioneering new ways of delivering coordinated care. The pioneers have been selected by a renowned panel of experts, including international experts drawing together global expertise and experience of how good joined up care works in practice.

The aim is to make health and social care services work together to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community to prevent people needing emergency care in hospital or care homes.

Results from these approaches in the pioneer areas include:

  • 2,000 fewer patient admissions over a two and a half year period, achieved through teams of nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists working together to prevent crises

  • Reducing waiting times from eight weeks to 48 hours at physiotherapy services by making professionals work closer together

  • Setting up a crisis house where people who suffer mental health problems can get intensive support

With the number of people with more than one long term condition such as diabetes, asthma or dementia set to rise from 1.9 million in 2008 to 2.9 million in 2018 and increasing pressures on A&E departments, the need to deliver better joined-up care and a more sustainable NHS has never been more urgent.

Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister, said:

"Too often care is uncoordinated, leaving too many people needlessly entering the revolving door of their local A&E again and again, because somewhere in the system their care has broken down.

We have heard people talk about integration before, but it has never truly taken hold across the NHS. These pioneers are a starting gun for the NHS and social care to achieve a common goal – to get local health and care services working together, not separately, in the interests of the people that they all serve.

However, this is just the start – we want to make integrated care the norm across the country and planning has already begun in order to invest £3.8bn into integrated health and care services in 2015/16.

We need to preserve the NHS, and through an integrated approach we can achieve better results for patients and make the money go further, whilst making necessary savings. These fourteen pioneers will test new ways of working for everyone to learn from, and drive forward genuine change for the future."

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg commented:

"I want to build a fairer society and that means providing better care to people in our hospitals, care homes and their own homes. We need to join up care around people’s lives, not force them to fit their lives around the care they need. The pioneers will champion this joined up approach, sharing their good ideas with doctors and nurses across the country so that we get better care in every area."

In Greenwich, one of the l areas named today as a pioneer, over 2000 patient admissions were avoided due to the work of a team made up of nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. The team responds to emergencies they are alerted to within the community. In many cases they are able to avoid a hospital admission for the patient by treating them at home or through short term residential care.

In South Devon and Torbay, having integrated health and social care teams has meant patients having faster access to services. Previously getting in touch with a social worker, district nurse, physiotherapist and occupational therapist required multiple phone calls, but now all of these services can be accessed through a single call. In May 2013, the Department of Health and national partners launched a programme to break down barriers to integrated care and support and deliver better joined up care for people.

It is intended that learning from this process will be shared nationally, with the aim of making integrated care and support the norm and to end disjointed care. The ambition is to help all areas across the country deliver integrated care and support. This will improve experiences and outcomes for people who use care and support services.

Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS England, said:

"We need a health and social care system that is truly seamless so that people receive the right care and support at the right time, in the right place.

At the same time, services are under intense and growing pressure and to succeed, we need radical transformation. We need to embrace and develop innovative solutions and truly integrated multi-agency working so that local health and social care systems work as a whole to respond to and meet the needs of people who use health and care services.

Today’s announcement is an important catalyst for this change and a real opportunity to help improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society."


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