The integration of community health and social care services has been widely promoted in the UK as a vital step to improve patient-centred care, reduce costs, reduce admissions to hospital and facilitate timely and effective discharge from hospital. The complexities of integration raise questions about the practical challenges of integrating health and care given embedded professional and organisational boundaries in both sectors.
This study describes how an English city created a single, integrated care partnership, to integrate community health and social care services. This led to the development of 12 integrated neighbourhood teams, combining and co-locating professionals across three separate localities.
The aim of this research was to identify the context and the factors enabling and hindering integration from a qualitative process evaluation.