Health and Social Care Integration

Health and social care is the term used to describe a range of services and support that can help people who need extra help in their lives. This can include older people who require assistance with daily living activities, those with mental health problems or physical disabilities, and those who need to be supported in managing their medication.

A growing number of governments have recognised the need to improve integration between health and social care services. Some have developed policy initiatives to do this, but they are often difficult to implement and evaluate in practice. This is because of the different ways that stakeholders are organized and how they work together and the fact that many patients have both medical and social care needs.

The broader policy initiatives that have been launched in the US over the past decade have focused on improving integration through new cross-sector collaborations, screening patients for social risks in primary care clinics, and aligning financial incentives by funding community-based services with healthcare dollars. These efforts have reached millions of Americans. However, comprehensive evaluation is still needed to understand the effects of these efforts on individuals’ outcomes.

Conventional thinking conveniently conceptualizes health and social care as separate spheres, each with its own responsibilities for financing and provision. This short book by Jon Glasby challenges this view, showing how an integrated approach is both possible and a necessity in the face of growing pressure on public sector resources. health and social care

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