Integrated Care Pilots

In April 2009, the government announced the 16 sites that had been selected as Integrated Care Pilots, following commitments to do so in the 2008 NHS Next Stage Review.

The Integrated Care Pilot programme (ICP) was set up to test different approaches to integrated working to improve outcomes for patients and service users.

Implementation

Each pilot site sought to test a different and new approach to integrated working between health and social organisations to improve outcomes for patients, service users and carers. The pilots were to run for 2 years, followed by a 3-year evaluation programme.

Most of the sites were based in primary care and involved numerous partner organisations. The majority undertook to test horizontal integration approaches at a meso-level; that is, they were focused on integrating practitioners across organisations.

Evaluation

The National Evaluation of the Department of Health's Integrated Care Pilots final report was published on 22 March 2012, under the coalition government.

The evaluation found that, while staff believed the pilots had resulted in process improvements, and that these process improvements had or would lead to care improvements, the research did not show improvements in patient experience, nor was there evidence of a general reduction in emergency admissions.

There was, however, a significant net reduction in overall secondary care costs for sites focusing on the case management of elderly people at risk of hospital admission. This was mainly due to reductions in elective admissions and outpatient attendance.

Source(s)

Department of Health.
Launch of programme of integrated care pilots.
Department of Health; 2009.

RAND Europe, Ernst & Young.
National evaluation of the Department of Health's Integrated Care Pilots.
Department of Health; 2012