Integrated working for better outcomes

'Integration' is about working together to achieve better outcomes. When integration works well, people using services and carers report high levels of satisfaction. Organisations providing services and professionals say it benefits them too.

The emphasis on more and better integrated working comes from the commitment to deliver quality care and support around the needs of the individual, their family and their carers. This shift towards personalisation and person-centred care is happening against a backdrop of unprecedented pressure on health and social care providers to open up opportunities for cost savings. So while integration has never been more vital, many organisations find achieving it extremely challenging.

How do you achieve integration? And how do you know when you're doing it effectively?

SCIE researchers have identified the factors most associated with successful integrated working. We've taken that research and turned it into 'Integration - Step by Step' - an online tool to help you achieve excellence in delivery of all your services.

Effective integration usually results in working in different ways with different people - this in itself can be a challenge because of the need to change relationships, shift perceptions and share responsibilities and information. Using 'Integration - Step by Step' you'll be helped to establish effective professional relationships with colleagues across sector and service boundaries. Whether your colleagues are in health, social care, or any other service, you'll analyse, plan, and deliver fully integrated services - together. As you become familiar with the tool, integration will become the natural way of working. Establish a common purpose, focus on wanted outcomes and avoid the pitfalls many services fail on when seeking to change their ways of working.