This site is intended for health professionals only

Twenty-eight areas shortlisted to become ‘integration pioneers’

Twenty-eight areas have made a shortlist to become ‘integration pioneers’, with ideas floated including greater access to GPs, practice networks and police and fire brigades identifying new patients who are ‘at risk’.

The successful bids are expected to be released in October, but Pulse can reveal that the selection committee has shortlisted 28 areas out of 111 which put in bids to be supported by the Department of Health in their work to integrate health and social care.

These include CCGs, hospital trusts and the local authority in Leeds, which have already begun extensive work to integrate care, and Bradford and Airedale, which want to move toward 24/7 access for patients.

Plans to award the pioneer status were first announced by health and care minister Norman Lamb in May this year, and a £3.8bn integrated health and social care budget was announced by the chancellor George Osborne in his Spending Review in June.

Pulse revealed last month that CCGs in the north west of England have applied for funds for GPs to offer routine appointments seven days a week, under radical plans to help ease pressure on A&E services.

Earl Howe also told the Family Doctor Association conference in Nottingham last weekend that NHS managers were looking at how the integrated care budget could be used to help boost investment into primary care.

Successful areas will receive financial support in return for sharing their experiences with commissioners elsewhere.

Clinical commissioners in Leeds have launched a bid across multiple local CCGs focused around promoting care in the community, proactive health measures and self care. It further plans for all local patients to be able to access their integrated health and care record online. GP practices will also be expected to work in conjunction with charities to promote a better experience of care, for example via a new link to elderly people’s charity Age UK.

Meanwhile, CCGs, trusts and local authorities in Bradford and Airedale said they want to ‘move towards’ 24/7 availability of care’ as part of its pioneer bid, that it is focusing on better care of the elderly, preventing hospital admissions and integrated IT systems.

For GPs, the pioneer project will see practices clustered into groups all responsible for a population base of around 33,000 people for whom they will provide care in collaboration with social care and mental health and other community services. Amid its information-sharing strategies it also wants to be able to call on the police and fire departments for information on vulnerable people who may be in need of health or social care.

They also said they would ‘harness the intelligence gathered by the police, fire services and other agencies that have a high volume of visits to the homes of vulnerable people and families. They have significant potential to identify risk in those people that are possibly not yet known to health or social care services.’

Another shortlisted bid from North West London, which plans to build on its existing involvement in a Government initative for community budgets. If successful, it now plans on setting up joint commissioning budgets between health and social care in a wider geographical area and focused on locally prioritised areas including cancer, dementia and supporting young people.

Commenting on the application process, Dr Andy Harris, a GP and the chief clinical officer for Leeds South and East CCG, said the health and social care economy must adapt quickly if it is going to be able to meet the challenge of changing needs of patients.

He added: ‘This bid will help us to take the nexts steps; making important improvements to delivery of care whilst creating a self-care culture among people in our city to encourage better health and wellbeing and greater independence.’

Key plans of two shortlisted pioneer bids, in bullet points:


- has set up 12 neighborhood care teams, linked with GP practices, which include nursing and community care staff, mental health and social services - tasked with encouraging proactive health measures and self care
- are developing an electronic care record which will enable patients to access all of their care data online
- Age UK has secured funding to support 30 GP practices in their work with elderly patients

Bradford & Airedale:

- has aligned its integrated care programme with the urgent care strategy
- will promote home care/virtual wards in a bit to prevent hospital admission
- focus on elderly, particularly dementia
- integrating IT systems
- clusters of 33,000 people each covered by groupings of GPs, social care, mental health etc working together
- using funding from the risk profiling DES
- using SystmOne to set up an integrated care record across health and social care
- setting up shared treatment facilities for health and social care
- setting up information sharing agreements - including with police and fire services who can share info on people at risk not yet known to health and social care
- move to 24/7 availability of care

Source: West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit