Public suspicious of moves to join up health and care services

New integrated care models hampered by poor communication and an ‘acronym spaghetti’ of terms, report finds

The Commons health and social care committee has – over many years and under successive chairs – been concerned by the fragmentation and poor coordination of care and health services. Its latest report adds to this scrutiny, focusing on the approaches to developing new integrated ways of planning and delivering health and care services.

Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), integrated care systems (ICSs), integrated care partnerships (ICPs) and accountable care systems (ACOs) all arose from the NHS Five Year Forward View.

The committee’s timely and measured analysis emphasises that while moving “from a competitive landscape of autonomous providers towards more integrated, collaborative and place-based care” is supported, the changes have been hampered by poor communication “and a confusing acronym spaghetti of changing titles and terminology”.

The report is also critical on a more fundamental level about the means and ends of reform. It joins the voices of others – including the National Audit Office – in underlining the continued barriers to integration and the lack of adequate oversight and governance of new initiatives.

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