Health and Social Care Committee's 'Integrated care' report welcomed by RCP  

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre has welcomed today's publication of parliament's Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems report, but warned that integration could be 'extremely challenging' in the current climate. 

Commenting on the integrated care report, published by the Health and Social Care Committee, RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said:

We welcome the committee’s insightful review which focuses on the key to successful health and social care provision in the future: integration.

With people living longer clinicians are caring for patients with more complex needs which the current services set-up isn't always best placed to serve. Simpler, integrated care pathways promise more experiences that are person-centred. 

    Shared vision, proper investment and improved accountability will all be key for service transformation to succeed.

    Professor Jane Dacre, RCP president

    We agree that the case for change needs to be made more clearly and with stronger involvement from clinicians, patients and the public, but with doctors struggling to meet patients’ everyday needs, a long-term funding settlement must come first to restore confidence.

    Integration will be extremely challenging while the system is in crisis. Shared vision, proper investment and improved accountability will all be key for service transformation to succeed.

    Integrated care report

    Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems explores the development of new integrated ways of planning local health and care services (sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems) and delivering care (integrated care partnerships and accountable care organisations), which have arisen out of the NHS Five Year Forward View.

    The report welcomes the government’s announcement of a long-term funding settlement, and recommends that the government and national leaders use the NHS' 70th anniversary as an opportunity to improve the delivery of joined-up services.

    Recommendations for integrated care in the report include:

    • the development of a national transformation strategy backed by secure long-term funding to support local areas to accelerate progress towards more collaborative, place-based and integrated care
    • committing to a dedicated, ring-fenced transformation fund
    • explaining the case for change clearly and persuasively, including why it matters to join up services for the benefit of patients and the public
    • facilitating national bodies to work with representatives from across the health and care community, who should lead in bringing forward legislative proposals to overcome the current fragmentation and legal barriers arising out of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. These proposals should be laid before the house in draft and presented to us for pre-legislative scrutiny.

    Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems also sets out several areas where legislative change may need to be considered, including:

    • a statutory basis for system-wide partnerships between local organisations
    • potential to designate ACOs as NHS bodies, if they are introduced more widely
    • changes to legislation covering procurement and competition
    • merger of NHS England and NHS Improvement 
    • Care Quality Commisssion’s regulatory powers.