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The Accountable Care Journal - ‘Integrated care: a bold attempt to unite a fractured system?’

The Accountable Care Journal - ‘Integrated care: a bold attempt to unite a fractured system?’

Our Research Director, Rebecca Crinson attended the ACJ event ‘Integrated care: a bold attempt to unite a fractured system?’ we asked Rebecca some questions on the key themes from the event.

Q. Who were the speakers at the event?

A. The Keynote speaker was the renowned Sir Bruce Keough and David Loughton who held the position of NHS England’s National Medical Director for 10 years and David Laughton Chief Executive of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

Q. What were the key themes?

A. A strong theme was the need for change and a drive towards integrated care systems and a recognition that to make it happen there needs to be closer collaborative working across the system building on lessons learnt in pioneering areas and flagship sites. David Loughton took us through practical examples of integration in his own trust and the impact this had particularly had on GP practices, which in turn and enabled close working between primary and secondary care.

Q. What does integrated care mean?

A. Sir Bruce Keough explained that sustainable transformation plans have transformed into accountable care organisations and now integrated care systems, which were all basically transformations of the same concept, but it seems “integrated care systems” are the new model.

Q. What are the drivers to change for integrated care?

They were identified as:

1.       Economics

2.       Science and technology e.g. improved genomics

3.       Patient expectations; and

4.       Demographics

Specifically in relation to demographics he identified two challenges, the ageing and younger population.

Q. Why were demographics viewed as a challenge?

A. Simply, that there are now more older people that younger. In 15 years it is anticipated that the number of people with four or more long term conditions will double. Alongside this younger people also have complex needs, 1 in 5 children are leaving primary school obese and 10% of the younger generation suffer from mental health issues.

In addition, the expectations of the older and younger generations are completely different. Whereas the older generation want care closer to home, continuity of medical professionals, face to face appointments with the family doctor; younger people live lives through technology, want immediacy and see healthcare as a knowledge transfer business.

Q. What were the most interesting facts or theories?

A. There were some great facts and theories! My favourites were:

  • Comparing the service of Apple with local GP practices
  • The concept of turning tax payer’s money into good clinical outcomes and that the NHS should think like patients and act like tax payers
  • That health and social care budgets are split and managed completely differently – healthcare is free at the point of access, social care is means tested and privately financed. Is this the right model?

The team at Explain have been conducting independent research and engagement within the health sector on behalf of a wide range of clients for over a decade. Projects are often complex and our programmes typically involve a mix of qualitative and quantitative research to ensure a combination of robust and reliable information whilst ensuring accessibility for all. Rebecca is a member of The Consultation Institute and leads the Explain health sector team. 

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