Health and social care integration

Since the Centre began, health and social care integration has been a pivotal part of our work. Using the drop down menu below, you can access a range of reports and case studies which cover key areas.

The centre has supported local areas to explore the cultural factors impacting on information sharing for various stakeholders working in mental health crisis care. Through this work seven key themes have been identified around culture and information sharing, which are covered in the reports below:

  1. Scaling up successful information sharing in mental health crisis care
  2. Info sharing challenges when working with people in a complex partnership setting
  3. Sharing information to manage risk
  4. Sharing information to support out of hours working and people in crisis situations
  5. Sharing information to identify and support people with complex needs
  6. Monitoring and tracking outcomes for service user and supporting commissioning
  7. Building the mind-set, capacity and willingness to share information (coming soon)

For more information about our other work in Surrey visit

Creating better outcomes for patients is one of the main drivers for breaking down cultural barriers to information sharing. The Gold Line, launched by Airedale hospital in 2013 aimed to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and support patient’s choice around their preferred place of their death. In plain terms, helping to make the lives of patients approaching the end of their life (and their carers’) a little easier.

Airedale Wharfedale Craven and Badford Gold line information sharing report – This case study highlights the benefits the service offers to those who use it and explains how information sharing played a critical role and how problems to good sharing were overcome.

In May 2016 we brought together local Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat partners with national government policy makers to explore how outcomes for those people in mental health crisis can be improved by strengthening the way information is shared between local service providers. You can download a copy of the report here
Information sharing and culture in mental health crisis care workshop report

Or have a look at the thoughts of Engagement Manager Stuart Bolton who helped to run the workshop.

Since the NHS was challenged in 2013 by Jeremy Hunt to go paperless by 2018, the race to get integrated digital care records (IDCRs) up and running has been at the forefront within the health and social care sector – with information sharing playing a key role in making this possible.

Over the past year, the Centre has been working to support a number of local places moving towards introducing IDCRs and those areas which already have them in place. As well as exploring how other services, such as Fire, Police and Ambulance can benefit from information sharing.

To help areas which are at the beginning of their journey, there are a number of case studies below from areas we have been working with. These  show what has been achieved, the challenges, and the solutions for information sharing. These case studies form the basis for two comparative reports – the first focusing on IDCR’s and the second focusing on citizen engagement.


Integrated Digital Care Records

This report looks at the approaches to IDCRs made from four local places. It considers the challenges and benefits from the various approaches and draws out the common themes from across the localities. Despite the different approaches taken, recommendations have been made by reviewing and comparing the information provided.

Conversations, communication and co-design

This report compares the approach from Leeds, North West London, Southend and Warrington with regards to engaging local people in information sharing to support health and social care integration. It considers how local people become engaged, how were partners and local people involved in the design of communications, how to raise awareness and manage expectations and also conclusions and recommendations for the future.

Case studies:

The case studies below give a more detailed picture of the reports above.

Bradford case study

Bristol case study

– Hillingdon case study

Leeds care record project
Joined Up Leeds

North West London
– North West London case study

Healthier North West London explains why information sharing is an important part of integrated care as it makes it easier for health and social care professionals to work together.

– Southend case study

– Warrington case study
– Warrington top ten tips 

In April 2016, Engagement Manager at the Centre, Stuart Bolton wrote an overarching IDCR article in the Public Sector Executive publication – which you can read here.

 During the first few months of 2016, here at the Centre we were busy supporting a number of workshops and webinars focussed on health and social care information sharing to support direct and in-direct care. These were being run by the Better Care Fund (BCF), in association with NECS (North of England Commissioning Support Unit).

Two of our Engagement Managers delivered interactive sessions to address the two themes of:

  • Engaging with leaders, stakeholders and addressing cultural barriers to information sharing.
  • Citizen engagement and information sharing to support health and social care integration and direct care.

The approach to the sessions was to provide a starting point for local places to explore the cultural, people and behaviour factors that either enable or limit information sharing.  We also sought to enable local places to share examples of good practice around information sharing for direct care within health and social care and network with peers.

Ultimately, this provided participants with an improved awareness and understanding of culture, information sharing and local practice. This in turn will help to support them in the conversations they need to have within their own organisations and with partners in their local places.

Following the workshops and webinars, the BCF have produced a final report distilling all of the issues and themes from the workshops and webinars. This report also includes next step recommendations to support information sharing for health and social care integration. To download the full report, please click here. To view the presentations from the event and supporting material, please visit the NECS website. 

As part of their series of quick guides, the NHS (with partners) has published information providing practical tips and case studies to support health and care systems. This one focuses on information sharing. 

In 2015 the Chief Fire Officers Association and NHS England came to an information sharing agreement to allow Fire and Rescue services across the UK access to the Exeter health data. Cheshire has been using this data since 2008 and has learnt lessons on how to use it to maximise its benefit – this learning is highlighted in the following case study