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From the ground up - A report on integrated care design and delivery

Report, literature review, case studies | January 2010

This report aims to support service commissioners who are looking to develop integrated care services. It re-enforces the benefits of integration, noting the most recent drivers and the principles on which changes should be based. Definitions of integrated care are offered, and challenges are outlined, as well as what tends to underpin successful integration. Necessary changes to the culture of care delivery are highlighted - as well as the difficulties in obtaining support to address them.

Based on a literature review and case studies, the report identifies characteristics which describe integrated care services. Eight elements of integrated management practice are considered and these are illustrated by the case studies. This model of design and delivery, for managers to consider, underlines two key components - strong local leadership and sound organisational approaches.

Finally, four practice examples are presented in full, each showing how local areas have tried to respond to significant policy developments. The report concludes that integration need not involve huge service re-design, and that integration is not prescriptive and does not have to adhere to a single model, typology or approach. Recommendations for managers on how to enable integrated services to flourish are given.