In May 2013, NHS England as one of the key national partners on the National Collaboration for Integrated Care and Support, signed up to a series of commitments on how they will support local areas in delivering integrated care and support in the first ever system-wide ‘shared commitment’, ‘Integrated Care and Support: Our Shared Commitment’.
For health, care and support to be ‘integrated’, it must be person-centred, coordinated, and tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual, their carer and family. It means moving away from episodic care to a more holistic approach to health, care and support needs, that puts the needs and experience of people at the centre of how services are organised and delivered.
Where local areas have succeeded in integrating health, care and support services, too often it has been despite of the national system rather than because of it. This is why NHS England has joined a range of national partner organisations to tackle national barriers and enable and encourage locally-led, integrated services to flourish.