The Department of Health today launched a series of pilot projects to test ways in which health and social care services can work together to improve quality of care.
Sixteen projects were selected out of 100 applications to the £4m integrated care pilot programme, announced in October 2008 to help break down the barriers between health and social services. Successful applicants include primary care trusts, NHS foundation trusts and clusters of GPs.
Reducing hospital admissions
The pilots, which will be led by clinicians, will run for two years and mainly look to reduce admissions to hospitals and care homes and help patients manage their own care, particularly focusing on older people with dementia and people with chronic diseases.
An evaluation of the scheme will then identify what new working practices and models of care could be used more widely.
Care services minister Phil Hope said: “I’m particularly interested to see how these pilots can benefit older people, particularly those with dementia. I know from talking to people with dementia and their carers that they get frustrated when trying to get the right health and care services for their loved ones.”
Health minister Ben Bradshaw said that patients frequently had social care needs in addition to health needs. He added: “This programme provides an opportunity for clinicians – working closely with the community more widely – to use their ‘on the ground’ knowledge to design services that are flexible, personalised and seamless.”