On the 1st and 2nd May 2015, participants at the RCGP London City Health Conference debated practical ways to achieve integrated care at community level. In five connected workshops, participants reviewed current work and identified ways to overcome some of the problems that had become apparent. In this paper, we summarise the conclusions of each workshop, and provide an overall comment. There are layers of complexity in community-oriented integrated care that are not apparent at first sight. The difficult thing is not persuading people that it matters, but finding ways to do it that are practical and sustainable. The dynamic and complex nature of the territory is bewildering. The expectation of silo-operating and linear thinking, and the language and models that encourage it, pervade health and social care. Comprehensive integration is possible, but the theory and practice are unfamiliar to many. Images, theories and models are needed to help people from all parts of the system to see big pictures and focused detail at the same time and oscillate between them to envision-integrated whole systems. Infrastructure needs to enable this, with coordination hubs, locality-based multidisciplinary meetings and cycles of inter-organisational improvement to nurture relationships across organisational boundaries.
Thomas, P., Burch, T., Ferlie, E., Jenkins, R., Wright, F., Sachar, A., & Ruprah-Shah, B. (2015). Community-oriented integrated care and health promotion - Views from the street. London Journal of Primary Care, 7(5), 83–88. https://doi.org/10.1080/17571472.2015.1082347