The healthcare landscape is changing. The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) makes clear that by 2021 all acute care providers will need to form Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). ICSs mean healthcare providers will have to work closer than ever before to provide better patient experiences and outcomes, in local and even national partnerships.
As such, providers will have to make changes to their organisations and service provisions to work effectively in integrated systems. Here we summarise three different routes for integration. We believe that engaging with these options will deliver the best results for an integrated healthcare system.
Vertical Integration – integration focussing on managing population health. Vertical integration enables providers within a geographic footprint to co-ordinate acute, primary and social care.
Horizontal Integration – integration between acute care providers that provide similar services, which can involve whole organisations or specific services.
Successful ICSs rely not only on a proactive approach but also on significant improvements in digital capabilities. By leveraging innovative digital tools, such as telemedicine or predictive analytics, healthcare providers can place themselves ahead of the game in providing effective, collaborative healthcare that, ultimately, improves experience and outcomes for patients.
Our teams are working alongside service providers and national bodies to help localities transform into integrated care systems. Find out more about the different approaches in our report.