Health and social care integration

Government policy has outlined the importance and increasing need for information sharing between organisations at a local level. The Centre has worked with a wide number of local places and central government departments focusing on a number of health and social care integration issues as outlined below.

Case studies to support health and social care integration:
Last year, the Centre worked with Greater Manchester (GM) Connect to unearth and capture examples of best practice from across Manchester and the case studies below focus on the role of information sharing in supporting health and social care integration. This is area where GM is leading the way – with devolved control over integrated health and social care budgets since 1 April 2016. A key strand of GM’s devolution ambitions, health and social care integration aims to deliver not only improved health but also improve wellbeing, reduce worklessness and support people back into employment as a result.

Click on the links below to download either the executive summaries or the full reports.

For more information on the work in GM, visit our GM page.

Culture and information sharing in mental health:

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, these are covered in the reports below:

The approach to mental health in Leicestershire:

As a results of the 2007 ‘Bradley Review’ a number of early intervention and diversion initiatives were drawn up to divert people with mental health problems and learning disabilities away from the criminal justice system. This case study focuses on Leicestershire and the role information sharing played to put it in place:

Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Bradford gold line:

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. You can read the report by downloading it at the link below:

  Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Bradford: Gold line information sharing report

Information sharing and culture in mental health crisis care workshop report:

In May 2016 the Centre 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:

Engagement Manager, Stuart Bolton, who worked on the workshop gives his thought in a vlog below:

Surrey safe havens:

In Surrey the co-location of professionals and a shared approach to service user care has enabled statutory and independent professionals to develop an understanding of each other’s roles and build confidence to share information to support people across Surrey in mental health crisis – more details about this work is available in the case study below:

Integrated Digital Care Records:

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. An IDCR is an electronic record of a patient’s care which can be accessed by medical professionals – as appropriate and with the necessary consent.

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 IDCRs:

And the second focusing on citizen engagement:

Case studies from the areas we worked with:

Better Care Fund and North of England Commissioning Support Unit workshop and webinars:

During the first few months of 2016, here at the Centre we were busy supporting a number of workshops and webinars focused 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 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. You can download the full report from the link below or to view the presentations from the event and supporting material, please visit the NECS website. 

NHS quick guide to sharing information:

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.

Innovative use of Exeter health data:

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 case study below:

Health records:

A health record is an electronic local health and care record which enables practitioners from hospitals, community care providers and GP practices to improve clinical decisions by sharing information about patients. This had been introduced in Hampshire and this is a case study of the process:

Living Well Pioneer Programme:

Cornwall is one of the 14 health and care national leaders – the Integrated Care and Support Pioneers – who are exploring new ways to integrate services, in order to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable in their community. The case study below outlines the work and the information sharing barriers they faced:

Antenatal and postnatal information sharing in Manchester:

Children’s centres throughout Greater Manchester wanted to promote earlier engagement with pregnant women and new families but they did not know who they were or how best to access the information. Building on existing work undertaken by Pennine Acute Trust, processes were developed to share electronic antenatal data and paper-based postnatal data. Contact details of those responsible for ensuring the appropriate sharing of information were also secured and information is now flowing. A number of useful documents relating to this case study are listed below:

If you can’t find the information or area you want to know more about, not to worry, just drop us an email and we’ll get back to you soon. Alternatively you can make sure that you are always up-to-date with all things information sharing by signing up to our free e-newsletter – it couldn’t be simpler to sign up and only takes a few clicks of the mouse.