Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Health Policy

Integrated care

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 08 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1484
  1. Nigel Hawkes, freelance journalist
  1. 1London
  1. nigel.hawkes1{at}

    The government hopes that integration of services will improve care, but as Nigel Hawkes reports the pilot schemes have a lot to prove

    Sixteen organisations have been chosen to pilot new models of integrated care in the English National Health Service. The scheme, announced in the Darzi review last July, aims to improve services for defined groups of patients by integrating health and social care, or primary and secondary care, or both.

    The pilots announced on 1 April include seven that will focus on long term conditions or chronic diseases, three on elderly people and end of life care, two on dementia, and one each on falls, mental health, delivery of rural health care, and substance misuse. Geographically the pilots are unevenly spread, with four in the North East Strategic Health Authority, four in the South West, but none in South Central, South East Coast, or West Midlands (box). The 16 were chosen from 100 applications.

    Winning pilots

    • Bournemouth and Poole Teaching PCT—Dementia care

    • Cambridge Assura—End of life care

    • Church View Medical Practice, Sunderland—Long term conditions

    • NHS Cumbria—Chronic diseases

    • Durham Dales Integrated Care Organisation—Rural health care

    • Nene Commissioning Community Interest Company—Long term conditions

    • Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust—Reducing falls among old people

    • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT—Dementia

    • NHS Norfolk and Norfolk County Council—Care of elderly people

    • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust—Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    • North Cornwall Practice Based Commissioning Group—Mental health

    • Principia Partners in Care (Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire)— Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    • NHS Tameside and Glossop—Cardiovascular disease

    • Torbay Care Trust—Care of elderly people

    • Tower Hamlets PCT—Long term conditions

    • Wakefield Integrated Substance Misuse Service—Drug misuse

    Integration has long been an article of faith among NHS commentators, and the new Care Quality Commission expresses that faith by combining the regulation of health and social care in a single organisation. But previous efforts to …

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