Health care is increasingly under pressure. Budget crises are making collaboration and smart thinking essential, while increasing numbers of people with multiple long-term conditions make specialist models of health care increasingly inefficient – patients too often go from one specialist to another, duplicating effort and paying too little attention to the bigger picture of their health.
Collaborating for Health outlines a solution: community-oriented integrated care and health promotion. Designed to prevent the problems of fragmented care, this approach focuses on building teams, networks and communities for health and care at local level, where it is easier to see the range of factors that affect people’s health. With the emphasis on partnership-working between primary care, public health and others, it allows clusters of general practices to share the work of integrating efforts for care and health improvement, and for non-medical organisations to lead parallel initiatives for health and care. Introducing both horizontal and vertical integration, Thomas presents ways to develop community-oriented integrated care in a sustainable way, and how to practise the skills in small ways before you have to perform on a big stage.
This guide is for anyone interested in how multidisciplinary primary care teams can orchestrate most aspects of health and care at local level, with timely specialist input.