With funding and support from NHS England and NHS Improvement, the King’s Fund and Picker have created a practical guide for individuals and teams working within an integrated care system (ICS) to ensure they listen to and learn from people and communities.
The aim of integrated care is to improve outcomes and experiences of care by bringing services together around people and communities. This means addressing the fragmentation of services and lack of co-ordination that people often experience by providing person-centred, joined-up care.
One key question for ICSs and the partners working in them is how they will know whether they are meeting the needs of the people they serve. Those best placed to understand what they need, what is working and what could be improved are the people and communities using services.
The guide presents a set of principles for systems to adopt to ensure that the voices of people and communities are at the heart of partnership working. There is no one-size fits-all solution, and a range of different methods and approaches will be necessary to understand, monitor and measure how well people’s need are being met. Perhaps most importantly, it will require partners to listen and learn together.
Their lived experience is a powerful tool to improve existing services and identify new and better ways to meet people’s needs.