Integrated Care Network – An Introductory Guide

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Integrated care, Reports/papers | Tags: , |

Department of Health | accessed 26 October 2009 (pdf)

The programme of Integrated Care Pilots (ICP) is a two-year Department of Health (DH) initiative. Its purpose is to explore different ways of providing health and social care services to

help drive improvements in local health and wellbeing.

The programme of Integrated Care Pilots (ICP) is a two-year Department of Health (DH) initiative. Its purpose is to explore different ways of providing health and social care services to help drive improvements in local health and wellbeing.

Integrated care is an important building block within the strategic plan for improving the health and wellbeing of the population of England, as highlighted in both the NHS Next Stage Review report High Quality Care for All and the concordat Putting People First. Both documents stress the importance of improving local health and care services by offering personalised, flexible and high quality services, where the individual is at the centre and engaged in service organisation. Integration may refer to partnerships, systems and models as well as organisations; crossing boundaries between primary, community, secondary and social care.

Each of the 16 pilot sites participating in the national programme has developed an integrated model of care to help respond to particular local needs. Using their in-depth knowledge of the local population, the pilots are designing services that should be flexible, personalised and seamless.

The ICP programme is one of a number of initiatives looking to deliver these objectives. All pilots will be working with local organisations involved in world class commissioning (WCC) assurance Year 2, and participation in ICP should enable sites to demonstrate success against many of the competencies for WCC assurance.

The following pages provide summaries of the work each pilot will be doing over the next two years as they explore the potential and impact of their models, whilst identifying learning and best practice to be shared with others.

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The evidence base for integrated care

Posted on April 17, 2009. Filed under: Integrated care, Journals, News stories, Reports/papers | Tags: |

ripfA (research in practice for Adults) 

You can go directly to the evidence base but if this is your first visit or you would like more information please read on.

Welcome to the evidence base for integrated care which has been developed by staff at research in practice for adults and our Associate, Peter Thistlethwaite, in partnership with the Integrated Care Network (ICN). Peter is also author of the ICN’s A practical guide to integrated working (2008) which gives an overview of the theory of integrated working, examples of best practice models and relevant research and gives practical advice on how to initiate integration and evaluate existing partnerships. The evidence base can be accessed directly from the web version of the Guide on the ICN website, and vice versa.

The evidence base is aimed at staff in health and social care who are dealing with the integration agenda on a daily basis. It includes accessible summaries of the research evidence on integration, as well as key messages for practice. By providing summaries and key messages, we hope to provide you with information that can be used on its own, as well as signposting other relevant research, should you be interested in learning more.

The evidence base is being developed in stages and is due to be completed in November 2009. It currently includes relevant, good quality evidence published from 2007 onwards, but eventually it will include evidence published since 2000. Systematic searches are being carried out to identify studies providing original data about:

  • the impact of integration on outcomes for service users, carers and organisations
  • the effectiveness of different models for integration
  • factors supporting or hindering integrated working

Following a thorough literature search the identified papers are carefully selected in a two-stage screening process by two experts using stringent selection criteria. Selected papers are then carefully summarized to draw out the main findings and key messages in an accessible format. This will help you to access the most up-to-date evidence on integrated care in a quick and easy format. Summaries are fully referenced to enable you to locate the full text should you require more in-depth information.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for or if there is a study or other text you would like to recommend for inclusion, please contact us on 01803 860097 or

We advise you to find out more about the background to the development before proceeding to the evidence base.

To help you identify further background reading, we have included the bibliography of the Better Partnership Working series of books with kind permission of the authors (Glasby J, Dickinson H, Peck E, Carpenter J and Jelphs K) and Policy Press publishers.

Level of Integration

Area of Practice

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Integration for social enterprise

Posted on April 17, 2009. Filed under: Social enterprise | Tags: , |

Care Services Improvement Partnership


Social enterprise together with personalisation, integration and choice are concepts being embraced and implemented ever more widely. Many community groups, as well as offering flexibility and diversity in provision, will be uniquely placed to better support the hard-to-engage and disadvantaged groups within a community.

As this briefing notes: ‘Where there is personalisation there must be diversity of provision to support choice. Where there is choice and a mixed economy of provision it is important to obtain efficient practice.’

It goes on to illustrate that markets can challenge inefficiency – but the ‘m’ word raises fears of commercialisation and profit in services funded by the taxpayer for some of society’s most vulnerable people.

A community business that reinvests its surplus largely or entirely back into the business (and therefore the community) overcomes many such qualms. 

This briefing provides valuable insight into the various forms of social enterprise that public bodies and community groups can consider – and the many issues and challenges they must analyse and resolve before going down this route.

Julia Thompson

Network Manager

Integrated Care Network

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A practical guide to integrated working

Posted on April 17, 2009. Filed under: Integrated care | Tags: , |

Care Services Improvement Partnership  

What is integrated care?

Integrated care refers to advanced arrangements for joint working. In the context of this book the focus is on health and local authority care provision for children and adults, which at times will include Housing and Leisure services. The broad context of Local Area Agreements and joint strategic needs assessment which must underpin such collaboration is set in Section 5 of this guide.

What is the Integrated Care Network?

The Integrated Care Network (icn) provides information and support to frontline nhs and local government organisations seeking to improve the quality of provision to service users, patients and carers by integrating the planning and delivery of services. Key to the role of the icn is facilitating communication between frontline organisations and government, so that policy and practice inform each other effectively. The icn is part of the Care Services Improvement Partnership (csip).

Care Services Improvement Partnership

CSIP was launched on 1 April 2005 after a formal public consultation. Our main goal is to support positive changes in services and the well-being of:

• people with mental health problems

• people with learning disabilities

• older people with health and social care needs

• children and families

• people with health and social care needs in the criminal justice system.

ICN offers advice on partnerships and integration that cut across all services in health and social care. It works closely with other networks and programmes across csip to ensure synergy in improvements.

History of the guide

This is an updated version of Integrated Working: A Guide (2004). The contents of both versions have been devised and written by Peter Thistlethwaite, who is a specialist R&D consultant in integrated care. Like its predecessor, the new version has been designed and edited at Dartington Social Research Unit by Kevin Mount.

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