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In 2011, community nursing services were reorganised in England in response to a national policy initiative, but little is known about the impact of these changes. A total…
In 2011, community nursing services were reorganised in England in response to a national policy initiative, but little is known about the impact of these changes. A total of three dominant approaches emerged: (1) integration of community nursing services with an acute hospital provider, (2) integration with a mental health provider and (3) the establishment of a stand-alone organisation, i.e. without structural integration. The authors explored how these approaches influenced the trends in emergency hospital admissions and bed day use for older people.
The methodology was a longitudinal ecological study using panel data over a ten-year period from April 2006 to March 2016. This study’s outcome measures were (1) emergency hospital admissions and (2) emergency hospital bed use, for people aged 65+ years in 140 primary care trusts (PCTs) in England.
The authors found no statistically significant difference in the post-intervention trend in emergency hospital admissions between those PCTS that integrated community nursing services with an acute care provider and those integrated with a mental health provider (IRR 0.999, 95% CI 0.986–1.013) or those that did not structurally integrate services (IRR 0.996, 95% CI 0.982–1.010). The authors similarly found no difference in the trends for emergency hospital bed use.
PCTs were abolished in 2011 and replaced by clinical commissioning groups in 2013, but the functions remain.
The authors found no evidence that any one structural approach to the integration of community nursing services was superior in terms of reducing emergency hospital use in older people.
As far as the authors are aware, previous studies have not examined the impact of alternative approaches to integrating community nursing services on healthcare use.
The purpose of this paper is to outline relevant policies on the integration of health and social care (HSC) in the four home nations: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland…
The purpose of this paper is to outline relevant policies on the integration of health and social care (HSC) in the four home nations: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England and offer a comparison of emphasis and approaches and draw out general insights on the implementation of integrated care policy.
The paper is written as a piece of critical reflection by drawing on the authors’ knowledge and expertise and wider evidence where available.
Since 2010, HSC integration has started to diverge significantly in the four constituent countries of the UK. Although England and Wales have undergone considerable re-organisation of the NHS, Scotland and Northern Ireland have largely been marked by organisational continuity. However, beyond organisational differences, policy approaches, policy emphases and implementation strategies have also started to show considerable dissimilarity across the UK. An important contributory factor may be different ideological perspectives on the role of competition and pilots, partnership, patient choice and organisational incentives to bring about change in the field.
The paper identifies a serious lack of comparative research in integration policy, despite the considerable opportunities for quasi-experimental studies. This lack of empirical research impedes shared learning across the home nations.
The paper presents a descriptive comparison of current integration policy between HSC providers in the four home nations. It reveals considerable opportunities for further research and comparative modelling of integration approaches.