Key points

  • This briefing examines the early effects on hospital use of introducing multidisciplinary integrated care teams (ICTs) in North East Hampshire and Farnham (NEHF). It presents the findings of an evaluation conducted by the Improvement Analytics Unit, a partnership between NHS England and the Health Foundation
  • During the first 23 months of the programme, patients referred to ICTs attended A&E more frequently, and were admitted as an emergency more often, than the control group.
  • This may be because ICTs identified urgent unmet need among their patients or it may be that more time was needed for the benefits of ICTs on hospital use to be seen.
  • A reduction in emergency hospital use may not be an appropriate objective for these type of multidisciplinary teams, at least in their early stages. Reducing emergency hospital use was only one of the objectives in this programme.
  • The value of ICTs might lie in their potential to improve patients’ health, health confidence, experience of care and quality of life.

Patients with complex needs, long-term conditions, older age or frailty often receive fragmented care, delivered by multiple health professionals across different organisations. 

This can result in poorly coordinated care and risks to quality and safety. Integrated care aims to improve patient care and experience by enabling different health care professionals to work together to deliver more coordinated care, and providing services around the needs of the patient. Integrated care projects often aim to also reduce hospital admissions and associated health care costs of patients with complex long-term conditions. However, the integrated care projects that have been evaluated rigorously over the last decade or longer have had mixed results in this respect.

This report presents the findings from the Improvement Analytics Unit’s evaluation of integrated care teams (ICTs) implemented as part of the Happy, Healthy, at Home vanguard.

Read the full list of key points

Further reading

Briefing

The impact of providing enhanced support for Sutton Homes of Care residents

June 2018

This report examines the effect of the Sutton Homes of Care vanguard on hospital use for new...

Briefing

The impact of redesigning urgent and emergency care in Northumberland

December 2017

The Health Foundation has considered findings from analysis into the early impact of changes to...

Briefing

The impact of providing enhanced support for care home residents in Rushcliffe

March 2017

This briefing looks at the impact of a package of enhanced support for older people living in care...

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