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What is National Voices doing?
National Voices was commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board to create a Narrative for Coordinated Care. This will now be adopted by NHS England, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Department of Health, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Association of Directors of Children's Services, Public Health England and Monitor.
We are also working closely with the Care and Support Alliance to consider how the Care and Support Bill can align with the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to promote better integration between health and social care services.
The National Voices policy position on coordinated care can be found here
What is the issue?
The lack of joined-up services is a major frustration for patients, service users and carers. Those with complex needs or long term conditions, may be left struggling to navigate complex ‘webs of care’ with little assistance to link services together.
The National Voices submission to the NHS Future Forum in May 2011 highlighted that patient organisations’ top demand was for 'integration, integration, integration'. To explore these issues in more detail, we submitted a report entitled 'What Patients Want From Integration' (January 2012) to the Future Forum's integration workstream.
The government has since incorporated a new focus on coordinated care to the health reforms but there has been little consensus on what 'integration' or ‘coordination’ means. National Voices has made it a key priority to influence this debate so that progammes deliver what patients and service users want.
What is coordinated care?
There is no single definition or model of integrated care but there are principles that can be used to stimulate change and measure progress. National Voices worked with its members to develop Principles for Integrated Care, which have since been endorsed by Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board.
These principles stress that coordinated care will be most successful if the patient’s perspective is central at all times. If care is to focus on the needs of, and outcomes for, the people who use services, it must be designed and evaluated with them, their support networks and local communities. To consider what success might look like, the full document looks at the kinds of statements patients and service users might make, if services were better joined-up.
We call for all relevant Secretaries of State, commissioners, regulators and relevant professional organisations to give explicit support to these principles.