The vision of integrated care

Integrated care is about giving people the support they need, joined up across the NHS, local councils, voluntary and community organisations, and other partners.

Integrated care is about removing any barriers or gaps between different parts of health and care – for example, between hospitals and GP practices, between physical and mental health, and between the NHS and council services.

How does it work?

Integrated care systems are local partnerships between the organisations that meet people’s health and care needs in their area.

These organisations include NHS providers, local councils, voluntary and community organisations and other partners.

Working together, they plan and deliver local services in a co-ordinated way to improve the health of people who live and work in the area and reduce inequalities between different groups.

In Northamptonshire we have been working together in this way for some time. Now we are continuing this partnership as Northamptonshire Integrated Care System to collectively tackle our local health and care challenges.

Integrated care systems set priorities for the future, with a focus on keeping people healthy and out of hospital – and putting communities at the heart of decision-making to ensure we are providing the joined-up care that people need, when and where they need it.

Why do we need an integrated care system?

Northamptonshire is home to more than 750,000 people, who all lead different lives and have different health and care needs.

Our population is growing with more people now reaching older ages and living with more complicated health conditions.

We also know that there is a need to address inequalities in people’s health, their access to health and care services and their ability to prevent ill-health. These health inequalities are caused by factors outside of people’s control, such as housing, education, employment and living environments.

The NHS and social care system was not set up to meet today’s needs. Because of this we are changing the way we work to support the needs of our communities today, and to plan for the needs of our future residents tomorrow.

In the past, barriers and gaps between different parts of health and care have resulted in disjointed experiences and outcomes for the people who use them.

Integrated care is the driver for a joined-up Northamptonshire –  improving the health of people who live and work in our county and reducing inequalities between different groups.