What we did
To improve health and social care services across the city of Manchester, Manchester Local Care Organisation (MLCO) was created to deliver community based care. MLCO is a public sector organisation, formed by Manchester’s Health and Care Commissioner and four provider partners:
The four provider organisations signed a Partnering Agreement, which formalised an agreement to work collaboratively, in partnership, across organisations and disciplines.
Commissioning of these services is through Manchester Health Care Commissioning (MHCC). NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester evaluated the integration process in order to inform the ongoing restructuring of these health and care services.
Why was it important?
The level of demand for health and social care services has been steadily increasing over recent years. Many of these demands have become more complex. Manchester has significantly lower life expectancy than the rest of the country, vast health inequalities across the city and some of England’s highest levels of alcohol and smoking-related deaths. If services are to continue providing appropriate, efficient and sustainable care, they need to respond to these changes.
Emphasis has recently been placed on the benefits of a holistic approach, with the person at the centre of the conversation about their care. This requires integrating health and social care at neighbourhood level. To successfully do this, commissioners and providers need to have a thorough understanding of the factors that both enable and inhibit such change. This evaluative study provided valuable insight into the process of integration, not only for MHCC, but also other regions where similar work is to be undertaken.
How we did it?
The project involved:
A literature review to understand what is known about integration in healthcare
In-depth interviews with key people from both the commissioning and provider organisations. These interviews helped researchers develop a rich understanding of the factors that help or hinder integration. Where possible this understanding was supplemented by observation of relevant meetings.
Who are we working with?