Home Instead partners with The King’s Fund to put social care at the heart of integrated care systems

Martin Jones cropped

Home Instead has joined forces with independent think tank, The King’s Fund, to launch a practical guide that aims to encourage partnership-working between NHS and social care stakeholders.

The guide, published here, contains suggestions put forward during a recent roundtable discussion, hosted by the partners, which explored the opportunities and challenges of integrated care systems for social care.

This follows the passage of the Health and Care Bill, which puts Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) on a statutory footing from next April and the recent Adult Social Care White Paper.

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There have been concerns from the sector that ICSs, intended to promote equal partnership between the NHS and wider partners, will leave social care out in the cold as a minority consideration. Therefore, Home Instead is keen to ensure that social care remains part of the debate.

Martin Jones (pictured), CEO of Home Instead UK, said: “Across our network, we see every day just how much professional,  well-trained caregivers can ease pressure on the health system by keeping people well at home, freeing up critical capacity for those who truly need it.

“It has never made sense to put health and social care into separate boxes and I was pleased to see this view mirrored in last week’s white paper. We need to seize the moment and develop a system that works for the benefit of society and that is what this work with The King’s Fund is all about.

“The home care sector is innovating at a rapid pace and I know we can bring a new perspective and dynamic. Just look at what is happening with technology in our sector at the present time.

“It’s clear from the discussion that we have a long way to go – but there is real potential for partnership with the NHS.”

Speaking following the roundtable, Simon Bottery, senior fellow at the The King’s Fund, said: “ICSs offer the potential to deliver truly joined-up, personalised care and to build equal partnerships between the NHS and its wider partners, including local authorities and social care. But the history of previous attempts at integration suggests there is a risk that the NHS will dominate and within social care, there is a particular concern among providers that they will be left ‘outside the tent.

“It is crucial that there are strong voices from across the social care sector embedded in ICS decision-making forums. Whilst differences in language, spending power, culture and leadership styles between the NHS and social care will no doubt present challenges, engaging effectively with the social care sector will play an important role in fulfilling the aspiration of ICSs to genuinely improve services for local people.”

Tags : Home InsteadICSIntegrated Care SystemsKings Fund
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke