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The Hewitt Review. SCIE response

04 April 2023

An independent review of integrated care systems, carried out by Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, was published 4 April 2023.

Chief Executive at the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Kathryn Smith, comments:

SCIE supports the Hewitt Report’s recommendation about removing the boundaries between health and social care to ‘unlock the potential’ for system working on prevention and early intervention. But we would take this even further. For what is sorely needed is a shift in the narrative about social care from NHS acute bed management to community models of care. Social care plays an important role in more than prevention and early intervention, including intermediate care, reablement and supporting people’s independence and quality of life.

Kathryn Smith continues:

By breaking down barriers, opportunities to develop new models of care emerge, from better recovery services to scaling up technology-enabled care. Key to this is resolving the problems of short-term funding and short-term planning cycles, which make it difficult to invest properly in integrated community-based services. Addressing unnecessary ICS bureaucracy will also create more flexibility for use of integrated resources.

SCIE Chief Executive Kathryn Smith concludes:

We strongly agree with the report where it acknowledges ‘a compelling case that social care providers should have a strong voice in every ICS.’ We encourage ICSs to take a wider view of system partners. For instance, local authorities have well-established relationships with social care providers, who will be instrumental in designing and delivering new models of integrated care.

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