Emerald Group Publishing Limited
New day, new dawn for integrated care?
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Integrated Care, Volume 23, Issue 1
January is traditionally a time to reflect on the 12 months that have gone before and look with anticipation to the year that lies ahead. The Journal of Integrated Care is no exception, and as we look back at 2014 we are proud to have been host to such a good range of interesting, relevant and topical research and commentary articles. In particular we are pleased to have consolidated our links across the four nations that make up the UK, and to have gathered learning from further afield through international contributors. We are also proud to have supported a number of authors to publish their first articles, and we hope that they will now feel confident in doing so again alongside our more established researchers, practitioners and policy makers.
Looking to 2015 we aim to continue this trajectory, with Stewart Greenwell co-ordinating a special edition looking at integration in Wales which will be jointly edited by ADSS Cymru and the Welsh NHS confederation. We have recruited three new editorial board members to support us in our further development (Mike Clarke, Jo travaglia and Axel Kaehne), and collectively they bring a wide variety and depth of knowledge in integrated care in the UK and in Australia. We are also delighted to welcome Sue White from the University of Birmingham as a new Co-Editor, with Sue strengthening our understanding of integration in services for children and families.
Our first edition of 2015 reflects then both the optimism and challenges that a new year presents for integrated care. Alison Taylor provides an informative overview of the background and aims of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 – this requires new integrated arrangements to be in place between Health Boards and Local Authorities from April 2015 and fully implemented by April 2016. Bob Hudson considers the potential for general practitioners to act as “care coordinators” for patients with complex needs and packages. He identifies that whilst the idea may have merit in principle, there are a number of system and capacity barriers that suggest it is unlikely to work in practice without other fundamental reforms. Jim Thomas looks at a different element of integration, the important role of the workforce. He calls for staff to be encourage to develop their “versatility” which he describes as being “able to adapt and change their understanding of who they are and what there is” to respond to the needs of the individuals and communities that they service. Finally, Robin Miller and Steve Appleton explore the needs of homeless people with complex needs through the findings of an evaluation of a housing support service. They discover that complexity of need and provision can be responded to through a relatively simple offer, but continued commitment from wider agencies and a robust approach to measuring and improving impacts are required if improvements are to continue.
Finally, the editorial team and board would like to express their gratitude to Helen Dickinson, who has stood down from her position as Co-Editor to pursue new opportunities in her academic career. Helen has been an incredible support to the journal and to many of the authors who have contributed, and we wish her great success in her future work. We are pleased that she will continue to have a link with the journal and to our shared endeavour of enabling professionals and services to work together to the benefit of individuals, their families and their communities.
Robin Miller and Jon Glasby