Connected Care, Turning Point's model for involving the community in the design and delivery of integrated health and well‐being services, aims to involve the community in the commissioning process in a way which fundamentally shifts the balance of power in favour of local people. The model has been tested in a number of areas across the country, and previous articles in the Journal of Integrated Care have charted the progress of the original pilot in Hartlepool. Cost‐benefits of the approach are now becoming clearer. Implementation of a new community‐led social enterprise in Hartlepool began in 2007, and today its Connected Care service provides community outreach, information, access to a range of health and social care services, advocacy, co‐ordination and low‐level support to the people of Owton. Key lessons, from Hartlepool and elsewhere, have centred on the value of making the case for service redesign from the ‘bottom up’ and building the capacity of the community to play a role in service delivery, while also promoting strong leadership within commissioning organisations to build ‘top‐down’ support for the implementation of outcomes defined through intensive community engagement. The new Government's ‘localism’ agenda creates new opportunities for community‐led integration, and the Connected Care pilots provide a number of learning points about how this agenda might be successfully progressed.
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