Integrating health and social care

Think tank: The Nuffield Trust

Author(s): Various Authors

December 14, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Nuffield Trust looks at a comparison of healthcare integration policy and progress across the four countries of the UK.

Across the four counties of the UK, integration of health and social care has been a policy priority driven by the needs of a population that is living longer and with more long-term health conditions. The aims of integrated policy reform have largely been consistent: to improve patient and service user experience, quality and efficiency by reducing fragmentation within and across services, and to improve population health and wellbeing. The different paths taken from across the UK to achieve these central aims allows us to draw insight and learning on how integration can work most effectively, and how different approaches to implementation or emphasis within policy may have contributed to different outcomes for communities. However, the extent to which integration has been achieved in these countries – and what benefits, if any, that has had for patients – is open for debate. In this report, we identify and review ten measures to examine the evidence for the impact of integration across the four UK countries, and compare policies and approaches each country has trialled to deliver their goals.