Whether you are a health or social care professional, it is vital to keep learning to improve your quality of service. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities include courses, workplace training, research and discussions with colleagues.
Continuity of integrated care depends on more than sharing cost and resources: effective inter-agency coordination of responsibility, information-sharing and decision-making are also key. Traditionally, different systems have their own governance structures, varying levels of administrative and geographical decentralisation, funding bodies, eligibility criteria and user charges – all of which can pose challenges to the coordination of service provision and underlying philosophies.
Several countries have developed models to address these barriers to integrating care. These initiatives range from integrating care pathways at the operational level (as in England, France, Norway and Sweden), to establishing community-based social care support services through partnerships with local authorities. The latter model allows people to access a full range of services through one point of contact and provides greater choice for users. Other efforts focus on integrating funding and management structures, such as aligning budgets to meet agreed objectives or bringing together the governance structure of health care and social care through joint governing bodies (as in Norrtalje in Sweden). The ultimate success of any integrated care system will depend on the commitment and flexibility of national policymakers to enable innovative models and corresponding incentives to emerge. health and social care