Integrating health and social care

This report from the UK think tank Institute of Economic Affairs examines integrating health and social care in the NHS.

Medical and nursing care have been separated from social care by deliberate design since the creation of the NHS. This is true with regard to the institutional and policy frameworks and also with regard to how care is provided in practice. This divide, even if once justified, is now entirely artificial. People spend far less time in hospital than used to be the case and four million people over the age of 65 have a life-limiting illness. In such circumstances, medical, nursing and personal care should be combined in different ways in a range of institutional settings. Technology is also changing medical and nursing care. Smartphones, for example, can be used to monitor medical conditions whilst assessment takes place remotely. Phones can be used to monitor glucose levels in diabetics and to control insulin uptake more precisely. This is also contributing to the breakdown in the divide between medical, nursing and personal care and the institutional settings in which they take place.

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