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1.  ‘Talking a different language’: an exploration of the influence of organizational cultures and working practices on transition from child to adult mental health services 
Background
Organizational culture is manifest in patterns of behaviour underpinned by beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions, which can influence working practices. Cultural factors and working practices have been suggested to influence the transition of young people moving from child to adult mental health services. Failure to manage and integrate transitional care effectively can lead to young people losing contact with health and social care systems, resulting in adverse effects on health, well-being and potential.
Methods
The study aim was to identify the organisational factors which facilitate or impede transition of young people from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS) from the perspective of health professionals and representatives of voluntary organisations. Specific objectives were (i) to explore organizational cultures, structures, processes and resources which influence transition from child to adult mental health services; (ii) identify factors which constitute barriers and facilitators to transition and continuity of care and (iii) make recommendations for service improvements. Within an exploratory, qualitative design thirty four semi-structured interviews were conducted with health and social care professionals working in CAMHS and AMHS in four NHS Mental Health Trusts and four voluntary organizations, in England.
Results
A cultural divide appears to exist between CAMHS and AMHS, characterized by different beliefs, attitudes, mutual misperceptions and a lack of understanding of different service structures. This is exacerbated by working practices relating to communication and information transfer which could impact negatively on transition, relational, informational and cross boundary continuity of care. There is also evidence of a cultural shift, with some positive approaches to collaborative working across services and agencies, involving joint posts, parallel working, shared clinics and joint meetings.
Conclusions
Cultural factors embodied in mutual misperceptions, attitudes, beliefs exist between CAMHS and AMHS. Working practices can exert either positive or negative effects on transition and continuity of care. Implementation of shared education and training, standardised approaches to record keeping and information transfer, supported by compatible IT resources are recommended, alongside management strategies which evaluate the achievement of outcomes related to transition and continuity of care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-254
PMCID: PMC3707757  PMID: 23822089
Transition; Culture; Working practices; Care continuity; Mental health
2.  Integrated working between residential care homes and primary care: a survey of care homes in England 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:71.
Background
Older people living in care homes in England have complex health needs due to a range of medical conditions, mental health needs and frailty. Despite an increasing policy expectation that professionals should operate in an integrated way across organisational boundaries, there is a lack of understanding between care homes and the National Health Service (NHS) about how the two sectors should work together, meaning that residents can experience a poor "fit" between their needs, and services they can access. This paper describes a survey to establish the current extent of integrated working that exists between care homes and primary and community health and social services.
Methods
A self-completion, online questionnaire was designed by the research team. Items on the different dimensions of integration (funding, administrative, organisational, service delivery, clinical care) were included. The survey was sent to a random sample of residential care homes with more than 25 beds (n = 621) in England in 2009. Responses were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Results
The survey achieved an overall response rate of 15.8%. Most care homes (78.7%) worked with more than one general practice. Respondents indicated that a mean of 14.1 professionals/ services (other than GPs) had visited the care homes in the last six months (SD 5.11, median 14); a mean of .39 (SD.163) professionals/services per bed. The most frequent services visiting were district nursing, chiropody and community psychiatric nurses. Many (60%) managers considered that they worked with the NHS in an integrated way, including sharing documents, engaging in integrated care planning and joint learning and training. However, some care home managers cited working practices dictated by NHS methods of service delivery and priorities for care, rather than those of the care home or residents, a lack of willingness by NHS professionals to share information, and low levels of respect for the experience and knowledge of care home staff.
Conclusions
Care homes are a hub for a wide range of NHS activity, but this is ad hoc with no recognised way to support working together. Integration between care homes and local health services is only really evident at the level of individual working relationships and reflects patterns of collaborative working rather than integration. More integrated working between care homes and primary health services has the potential to improve quality of care in a cost- effective manner, but strategic decisions to create more formal arrangements are required to bring this about. Commissioners of services for older people need to capitalise on good working relationships and address idiosyncratic patterns of provision to care homes.The low response rate is indicative of the difficulty of undertaking research in care homes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-12-71
PMCID: PMC3534387  PMID: 23151009
3.  Better and more efficient care through ICT-enabled integration of social care and healthcare services: experiences from two European projects 
Unsynchronised social and health care service delivery leads to inefficiencies, duplication of resources and reduced levels of quality of care. Older people are particularly affected by this situation. They often need both types of services, such as support with daily living activities and chronic disease management. ICT has the potential to support integrated service delivery to achieve high quality independent living and wellbeing for older people across Europe and elsewhere. Against this background, the presentation will demonstrate experiences and results derived from the development and piloting of ICT-supported integrated care services in eight sites across Europe, namely Dublin, Hull, Milton Keynes, Malaga, Veldhoven, Geldrop, Eindhoven and Bielefeld. Through innovative usage of ICT, current ‘silos’ in service delivery are broken up to allow for cooperation across relevant care sectors and participation of family members. The integrated services are to support the effective management of chronic diseases, and to address issues which affect independence, such as reduced agility, vision or hearing, in order to significantly improve the quality of life for older people and their carers.
A dedicated programme of service process innovation complemented by adaptation of technology is being pursued in order to develop an integrated digital support infrastructure and related services: using appropriate existing technology to provide as many older people as possible with digital access to support services they needaugmenting and opening sectoral care platforms to enable coordinated cross-sector support deliveryadopting a clearly demand-driven inclusive approach and avoiding a technology ‘push’.
Wider deployment of the services is supported by a dedicated programme of socio-economic service evaluation. The evaluation framework utilises a multi-method and multi-perspective approach, involving end users, family carers, service provider staff and key informants at corporate level. Triangulation is used to cross-reference data from different sources in order to maximize the reliability and robustness of conclusions drawn from the evaluation. Based on an overall framework taking into account themes such as integration, user outcomes, staff impact, organisational impact, technology, implementation and overall satisfaction, the specifics of each site are taken into account in operationally applying the overall framework in each case. The designs to be employed at each site have been developed to be as robust as possible, taking into account the constraints of the realities of the interventions.
The evaluation is accompanied by a business case modelling approach that builds largely on a cost-benefit analysis covering the service development and implementation activities as well as the pilots and modelling the further deployment of services in each of the pilot sites. The presentation builds upon experiences gained within the framework of two European projects, CommonWell and INDEPENDENT. They are both co-funded under the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) focus on better joining-up of formal social/healthcare services and strengthening participation of the so-called ‘third sector’.
PMCID: PMC3571140
integrated care; ICT; telecare; telehealth; service innovation
4.  'Reaching the hard to reach' - lessons learned from the VCS (voluntary and community Sector). A qualitative study 
Background
The notion 'hard to reach' is a contested and ambiguous term that is commonly used within the spheres of social care and health, especially in discourse around health and social inequalities. There is a need to address health inequalities and to engage in services the marginalized and socially excluded sectors of society.
Methods
This paper describes a pilot study involving interviews with representatives from eight Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations. The purpose of the study was to explore the notion of 'hard to reach' and perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to accessing services for 'hard to reach' groups from a voluntary and community sector perspective.
Results
The 'hard to reach' may include drug users, people living with HIV, people from sexual minority communities, asylum seekers, refugees, people from black and ethnic minority communities, and homeless people although defining the notion of the 'hard to reach' is not straight forward. It may be that certain groups resist engaging in treatment services and are deemed hard to reach by a particular service or from a societal stance. There are a number of potential barriers for people who may try and access services, including people having bad experiences in the past; location and opening times of services and how services are funded and managed. A number of areas of commonality are found in terms of how access to services for 'hard to reach' individuals and groups could be improved including: respectful treatment of service users, establishing trust with service users, offering service flexibility, partnership working with other organisations and harnessing service user involvement.
Conclusions
If health services are to engage with groups that are deemed 'hard to reach' and marginalised from mainstream health services, the experiences and practices for engagement from within the VCS may serve as useful lessons for service improvement for statutory health services.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-92
PMCID: PMC2856561  PMID: 20377850
5.  Achieving Continuity of Care: Facilitators and Barriers in Community Mental Health Teams 
Background
The integration of mental health and social services for people diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) has been a key aspect of attempts to reform mental health services in the UK and aims to minimise user and carer distress and confusion arising from service discontinuities. Community mental health teams (CMHTs) are a key component of UK policy for integrated service delivery, but implementing this policy has raised considerable organisational challenges. The aim of this study was to identify and explore facilitators and barriers perceived to influence continuity of care by health and social care professionals working in and closely associated with CMHTs.
Methods
This study employed a survey design utilising in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a proportionate, random sample of 113 health and social care professionals and representatives of voluntary organisations. Participants worked in two NHS Mental Health Trusts in greater London within eight adult CMHTs and their associated acute in-patient wards, six local general practices, and two voluntary organisations.
Results
Team leadership, decision making, and experiences of teamwork support were facilitators for cross boundary and team continuity; face-to-face communication between teams, managers, general practitioners, and the voluntary sector were facilitators for information continuity. Relational, personal, and longitudinal continuity were facilitated in some local areas by workforce stability. Barriers for cross boundary and team continuity were specific leadership styles and models of decision making, blurred professional role boundaries, generic working, and lack of training for role development. Barriers for relational, personal, and longitudinal continuity were created by inadequate staffing levels, high caseloads, and administrative duties that could limit time spent with users. Incompatibility of information technology systems hindered information continuity. Flexible continuity was challenged by the increasingly complex needs of service users.
Conclusions
Substantive challenges exist in harnessing the benefits of integrated CMHT working to deliver continuity of care. Team support should be prioritised in terms of IT provision linked to a review of current models of administrative support. Investment in education and training for role development, leadership, workforce retention, and skills to meet service users' complex needs are recommended.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-23
PMCID: PMC3073925  PMID: 21418579
6.  A toolkit for incorporating genetics into mainstream medical services: Learning from service development pilots in England 
Background
As advances in genetics are becoming increasingly relevant to mainstream healthcare, a major challenge is to ensure that these are integrated appropriately into mainstream medical services. In 2003, the Department of Health for England announced the availability of start-up funding for ten 'Mainstreaming Genetics' pilot services to develop models to achieve this.
Methods
Multiple methods were used to explore the pilots' experiences of incorporating genetics which might inform the development of new services in the future. A workshop with project staff, an email questionnaire, interviews and a thematic analysis of pilot final reports were carried out.
Results
Seven themes relating to the integration of genetics into mainstream medical services were identified: planning services to incorporate genetics; the involvement of genetics departments; the establishment of roles incorporating genetic activities; identifying and involving stakeholders; the challenges of working across specialty boundaries; working with multiple healthcare organisations; and the importance of cultural awareness of genetic conditions.
Pilots found that the planning phase often included the need to raise awareness of genetic conditions and services and that early consideration of organisational issues such as clinic location was essential. The formal involvement of genetics departments was crucial to success; benefits included provision of clinical and educational support for staff in new roles. Recruitment and retention for new roles outside usual career pathways sometimes proved difficult. Differences in specialties' working practices and working with multiple healthcare organisations also brought challenges such as the 'genetic approach' of working with families, incompatible record systems and different approaches to health professionals' autonomous practice.
'Practice points' have been collated into a Toolkit which includes resources from the pilots, including job descriptions and clinical tools. These can be customised for reuse by other services.
Conclusions
Healthcare services need to translate advances in genetics into benefits for patients. Consideration of the issues presented here when incorporating genetics into mainstream medical services will help ensure that new service developments build on the body of experience gained by the pilots, to provide high quality services for patients with or at risk of genetic conditions.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-125
PMCID: PMC2887834  PMID: 20470377
7.  ‘Trying to do a jigsaw without the picture on the box’: understanding the challenges of care integration in the context of single assessment for older people in England 
Introduction
Demographic ageing is one of the major challenges for governments in developed countries because older people are the main users of health and social care services. More joined-up, partnership approaches supported by information and communications technologies (ICTs) have become key to managing these demands. This article discusses recent developments towards integrated care in the context of one of the arenas in which integration is being attempted, the Single Assessment Process (SAP) to support the care for older people in England. It draws upon accounts of local SAP implementations in order to assess and reflect upon some of the successes and limitations of service integration enabled by ICTs.
Description of care practice
At the Department of Health in England, policy and strategy are directed at the integration of services through a ‘whole systems’ approach, with services that are interdependent upon one another and organised around the person that uses them. The Single Assessment Processes (SAP) is an instance of inter-organisational and cross-sectoral sharing of information intended to improve communication and coordination amongst professions and agencies and so support more integrated care. The aim of SAP is to ensure that older people receive appropriate, effective and timely responses to their health and social care needs and that professionals do not duplicate each others efforts. This article examines examples from two programmes of work within the context of SAP in England: one with the direction coming from local government social services, the other where the momentum is coming from the National Health Service (NHS).
Conclusion and discussion
Both examples show that the policy and practice of ICT-supported integration continues to represent a significant challenge. Although the notion of integrated care underpinned by ICT-enabled information sharing is persuasive, it has limitations in practice. The notion of an ‘open systems’ approach is proposed as an alternative way of improving communication and coordination across the domains of health and social care.
PMCID: PMC1919411  PMID: 17637871
8.  A self-evaluation tool for integrated care services: the Development Model for Integrated Care applied in practice 
Purpose
The purpose of the workshop is to show the applications of the Development Model for Integrated Care (DMIC) in practice. This relatively new and validated model, can be used by integrated care practices to evaluate their integrated care, to assess their phase of development and reveal improvement areas. In the workshop the results of the use of the model in three types of integrated care settings in the Netherlands will be presented. Participants are offered practical instruments based on the validated DMIC to use in their own setting and will be introduced to the webbased tool.
Context
To integrate care from multiple providers into a coherent and streamlined client-focused service, a large number of activities and agreements have to be implemented like streamlining information flows and adequate transfers of clients. In the large range of possible activities it is often not clear what essential activities are and where to start or continue. Also, knowledge about how to further develop integrated care services is needed. The Development Model for Integrated Care (DMIC), based on PhD research of Mirella Minkman, describes nine clusters containing in total 89 elements that contribute to the integration of care. The clusters are named: ‘client-centeredness’, ‘delivery system’, ‘performance management’, ‘quality of care’, ‘result-focused learning’, ‘interprofessional teamwork’, ‘roles and tasks’, ‘commitment’, and ‘transparant entrepreneurship’ [1–3]. In 2011 a new digital webbased self-evolution tool which contains the 89 elements grouped in nine clusters was developed. The DMIC also describes four phases of development [4]. The model is empirically validated in practice by assessing the relevance and implementation of the elements and development phases in 84 integrated care services in The Netherlands: in stroke, acute myocardial infarct (AMI), and dementia services. The validation studies are recently published [5, 6]. In 2011 also other integrated care services started using the model [7]. Vilans developed a digital web-based self-evaluation tool for integrated care services based on the DMIC. A palliative care network, four diabetes services, a youth care service and a network for autism used the self-evaluation tool to evaluate the development of their integrated care service. Because of its generic character, the model and tool are believed to be also interesting internationally.
Data sources
In the workshop we will present the results of three studies in integrated diabetes, youth and palliative care. The three projects consist of multiple steps, see below. Workshop participants could also work with the DMIC following these steps.
One: Preparation of the digital self-evolution tool for integrated care services
Although they are very different, the three integrated care services all wanted to gain insight in their development and improvement opportunities. We tailored the digital self-evaluation tool for each specific integrated care services, but for all the basis was the DMIC. Personal accounts for the digital DMIC self-evalution survey were sent to multiple partners working in each integrated care service (4–16 partners).
Two: Use of the online self-evaluation tool each partner of the local integrated care setting evaluated the integrated care by filling in the web-based questionnaire. The tool consists of three parts (A-C) named: general information about the integrated care practice (A); the clusters and elements of the DMIC (B); and the four phases of development (C). The respondents rated the relevance and presence of each element in their integrated care practice. Respondents were asked to estimate in which phase of development their thought their service was.
Three: Analysing the results
Advisers from Vilans, the Centre of excellence for long-term care in the Netherlands, analysed the self-evolution results in cooperation with the integrated care coordinators. The results show the total amount of implemented integrated care elements per cluster in spider graphs and the development phase as calculated by the DMIC model. Suggestions for further development of the integrated care services were analysed and reported.
Four: Discussing the implications for further development
In a workshop with the local integrated care partners the results of the self-evaluation were presented and discussed. We noticed remarkable results and highlight elements for further development. In addition, we gave advice for further development appropriate to the development phase of the integrated care service. Furthermore, the professionals prioritized the elements and decided which elements to start working on. This resulted in a (quality improvement) plan for the further development of the integrated care service.
Five: Reporting results
In a report all the results of the survey (including consensus scores) and the workshops came together. The integrated care coordinators stated that the reports really helped them to assess their improvement strategy. Also, there was insight in the development phase of their service which gave tools for further development.
Case description
The three cases presented are a palliative network, an integrated diabetes services and an integrated care network for youth in the Netherlands. The palliative care network wanted to reflect on their current development, to build a guiding framework for further development of the network. About sixteen professionals within the network worked with the digital self-evaluation tool and the DMIC: home care organisations, welfare organizations, hospice centres, health care organisations, community organizations.
For diabetes care, a Dutch health care insurance company wished to gain insight in the development of the contracted integrated care services to stimulate further development of the services. Professionals of three diabetes integrated care services were invited to fill in the digital self-evaluation tool. Of each integrated care service professionals like a general practitioner, a diabetes nurse, a medical specialist, a dietician and a podiatrist were invited. In youth care, a local health organisation wondered whether the DMIC could be helpful to visualize the results of youth integrated care services at process- and organisational level. The goal of the project was to define indicators at a process- and organisational level for youth care services based on the DMIC. In the future, these indicators might be used to evaluate youth care integrated care services and improve the quality of youth care within the Netherlands.
Conclusions and discussion
It is important for the quality of integrated care services that the involved coordinators, managers and professionals are aware of the development process of the integrated care service and that they focus on elements which can further develop and improve their integrated care. However, we noticed that integrated care services in the Netherlands experience difficulties in developing their integrated care service. It is often not clear what essential activities are to work on and how to further develop the integrated care service. A guiding framework for the development of integrated care was missing. The DMIC model has been developed for that reason and offers a useful tool for assessment, self-evaluation or improvement of integrated care services in practice. The model has been validated for AMI, dementia and stroke services. The latest new studies in diabetes, palliative care and youth care gave further insight in the generic character of the DMIC. Based on these studies it can be assumed that the DMIC can be used for multiple types of integrated care services. The model is assumed to be interesting for an international audience. Improving integrated care is a complex topic in a large number of countries; the DMIC is also based on the international literature. Dutch integrated care coordinators stated that the DMIC helped them to assess their integrated care development in practice and supported them in obtaining ideas for expanding and improving their integrated care activities.
The web-based self-evaluation tool focuses on a process- and organisational level of integrated care. Also, the self assessed development phase can be compared to the development phase as calculated by the DMIC tool. The cases showed this is fruitful input for discussions. When using the tool, the results can also be used in quality policy reports and improvement plans. The web-based tool is being tested at this moment in practice, but in San Marino we can present the latest webversion and demonstrate with a short video how to use the tool and model. During practical exercises in the workshop the participants will experience how the application of the DMIC can work for them in practice or in research. For integrated care researchers and policy makers, the DMIC questionnaire and tool is a promising method for further research and policy plans in integrated care.
PMCID: PMC3617779
development model for integrated care; development of integrated care services; implementation and improvement of integrated care; self evaluation
9.  Integrated care pilot programme—UK Department of Health 
Introduction
The NHS Next Stage Review set the direction for a more locally-driven NHS, with quality as its organising principle. It also highlighted the need for improved integration between health and care services, to improve access to and quality of care within local communities. This was followed, in High Quality Care for All, by a commitment to test and evaluate a range of models of integrated care that should help improve patient, carer and service user outcomes.
About the ICP
The programme of integrated care pilots (ICP) has been established to address that need. It is an exciting and innovative way of exploring the benefits that greater integration could deliver for local health and well-being.
ICP is designed to examine different ways in which health and social care could be provided to help drive improvements in local health and well-being. It allows communities to take a fresh look at how to deliver such care, based solely around the needs of the local population. The aim is to look beyond traditional boundaries (e.g. between primary and secondary care) to explore whether new, integrated models can improve health and care services.
Each pilot will be exploring a new approach to a key health issue within the local community, and seeking to deliver improvements in quality, service user satisfaction and local health and well-being. Although the pilots have designed new models for delivering care, they must also ensure that key features of the current health systems are safeguarded, e.g. choice, competition, and the role of the Primary Care Trust (PCT) as the commissioner of local health services.
The pilots will run for two years and will be evaluated over three years against a set of national and local measures. The criteria involved include impact on health outcomes, improved quality of care, service user satisfaction, and effective relationships and systems.
ICP sits alongside other programmes, such as practice-based commissioning (PBC), to inspire innovation in service development and to encourage stronger partnership between clinicians and those working in local government and social care. It is an exciting opportunity to help deliver better health, better care and better value for local populations and for taxpayers.
The pilot sites
Table 1 summarises information of each of the selected pilot organisations.
International innovations in integrated care
Alongside the work being undertaken in the pilot sites, the DH is carrying out a review of international exemplars in integrated care. The evidence from these will be used to stimulate further development within the NHS. This is supported by a learning network encouraging local, national and international co-operation and collaboration.
For further information
ICP presents a major opportunity to explore new and exciting models of developing and delivering care services for local communities. If you could like any further information about the programme, please contact the Integrated Care team at the Department of Health, on integratedcare@dh.gsi.gov.uk and http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/IntegratedCare/DH_091112.
PMCID: PMC2807058
integrated care pilot; local health
10.  Pan-London tuberculosis services: a service evaluation 
Background
London has the largest proportion of tuberculosis (TB) cases of any western European capital, with almost half of new cases drug-resistant. Prevalence varies considerably between and within boroughs with research suggesting inadequate control of TB transmission in London. Economic pressures may exacerbate the already considerable challenges for service organisation and delivery within this context. This paper presents selected findings from an evaluation of London’s TB services’ organisation, delivery, professional workforce and skill mix, intended to support development of a strategic framework for a pan-London TB service. These may also interest health service professionals and managers in TB services in the UK, other European cities and countries and in services currently delivered by multiple providers operating independently.
Methods
Objectives were: 1) To establish how London’s TB services are structured and delivered in relation to leadership, management, organisation and delivery, coordination, staffing and support; 2) To identify tools/models for calculating skill mix as a basis for identifying skill mix requirements in delivering TB services across London; 3) To inform a strategic framework for the delivery of a pan-London TB service, which may be applicable to other European cities. The multi-method service audit evaluation comprised documentary analysis, semi-structured interviews with TB service users (n = 10), lead TB health professionals and managers (n = 13) representing London’s five sectors and focus groups with TB nurses (n = 8) and non-London network professionals (n = 2).
Results
Findings showed TB services to be mainly hospital-based, with fewer community-based services. Documentary analysis and professionals’ interviews suggested difficulties with early access to services, low suspicion index amongst some GPs and restricted referral routes. Interviews indicated lack of managed accommodation for difficult to treat patients, professional workforce shortages, a need for strategic leadership, nurse-led clinics and structured career paths for TB nurses and few social care/outreach workers to support patients with complex needs.
Conclusions
This paper has identified key issues relating to London’s TB services’ organisation, delivery, professional workforce and skill mix. The majority of these present challenges which need to be addressed as part of the future development of a strategic framework for a pan-London TB service. More consistent strategic planning/co-ordination and sharing of best practice is needed, together with a review of pan-London TB workforce development strategy, encompassing changing professional roles, skills development needs and patient pathways. These findings may be relevant with the development of TB services in other European cities.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-203
PMCID: PMC3507865  PMID: 22805234
11.  The influence of power dynamics and trust on multidisciplinary collaboration: a qualitative case study of type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Background
Ongoing care for chronic conditions such as diabetes is best provided by a range of health professionals working together. There are challenges in achieving this where collaboration crosses organisational and sector boundaries. The aim of this article is to explore the influence of power dynamics and trust on collaboration between health professionals involved in the management of diabetes and their impact on patient experiences.
Methods
A qualitative case study conducted in a rural city in Australia. Forty five health service providers from nineteen organisations (including fee-for-service practices and block funded public sector services) and eight patients from two services were purposively recruited. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews that were audio-taped and transcribed. A thematic analysis approach was used using a two-level coding scheme and cross-case comparisons.
Results
Three themes emerged in relation to power dynamics between health professionals: their use of power to protect their autonomy, power dynamics between private and public sector providers, and reducing their dependency on other health professionals to maintain their power. Despite the intention of government policies to support more shared decision-making, there is little evidence that this is happening. The major trust themes related to role perceptions, demonstrated competence, and the importance of good communication for the development of trust over time. The interaction between trust and role perceptions went beyond understanding each other's roles and professional identity. The level of trust related to the acceptance of each other's roles. The delivery of primary and community-based health services that crosses organisational boundaries adds a layer of complexity to interprofessional relationships. The roles of and role boundaries between and within professional groups and services are changing. The uncertainty and vulnerability associated with these changes has affected the level of trust and mistrust.
Conclusions
Collaboration across organisational boundaries remains challenging. Power dynamics and trust affect the strategic choices made by each health professional about whether to collaborate, with whom, and to what level. These decisions directly influenced patient experiences. Unlike the difficulties in shifting the balance of power in interprofessional relationships, trust and respect can be fostered through a mix of interventions aimed at building personal relationships and establishing agreed rules that govern collaborative care and that are perceived as fair.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-63
PMCID: PMC3376040  PMID: 22413897
12.  Evaluation of complex integrated care programmes: the approach in North West London 
Background
Several local attempts to introduce integrated care in the English National Health Service have been tried, with limited success. The Northwest London Integrated Care Pilot attempts to improve the quality of care of the elderly and people with diabetes by providing a novel integration process across primary, secondary and social care organisations. It involves predictive risk modelling, care planning, multidisciplinary management of complex cases and an information technology tool to support information sharing. This paper sets out the evaluation approach adopted to measure its effect.
Study design
We present a mixed methods evaluation methodology. It includes a quantitative approach measuring changes in service utilization, costs, clinical outcomes and quality of care using routine primary and secondary data sources. It also contains a qualitative component, involving observations, interviews and focus groups with patients and professionals, to understand participant experiences and to understand the pilot within the national policy context.
Theory and discussion
This study considers the complexity of evaluating a large, multi-organisational intervention in a changing healthcare economy. We locate the evaluation within the theory of evaluation of complex interventions. We present the specific challenges faced by evaluating an intervention of this sort, and the responses made to mitigate against them.
Conclusions
We hope this broad, dynamic and responsive evaluation will allow us to clarify the contribution of the pilot, and provide a potential model for evaluation of other similar interventions. Because of the priority given to the integrated agenda by governments internationally, the need to develop and improve strong evaluation methodologies remains strikingly important.
PMCID: PMC3653284  PMID: 23687478
integrated; evaluation; delivery; complexity
13.  Primary Care Research Team Assessment (PCRTA): development and evaluation. 
BACKGROUND: Since the early 1990s the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Health has explicitly promoted a research and development (R&D) strategy for the National Health Service (NHS). General practitioners (GPs) and other members of the primary care team are in a unique position to undertake research activity that will complement and inform the research undertaken by basic scientists and hospital-based colleagues and lead directly to a better evidence base for decision making by primary care professionals. Opportunities to engage in R&D in primary care are growing and the scope for those wishing to become involved is finally widening. Infrastructure funding for research-active practices and the establishment of a range of support networks have helped to improve the research capacity and blur some of the boundaries between academic departments and clinical practice. This is leading to a supportive environment for primary care research. There is thus a need to develop and validate nationally accepted quality standards and accreditation of performance to ensure that funders, collaborators and primary care professionals can deliver high quality primary care research. Several strategies have been described in national policy documents in order to achieve an improvement in teaching and clinical care, as well as enhancing research capacity in primary care. The development of both research practices and primary care research networks has been recognised as having an important contribution to make in enabling health professionals to devote more protected time to undertake research methods training and to undertake research in a service setting. The recognition and development of primary care research has also brought with it an emphasis on quality and standards, including an approach to the new research governance framework. PRIMARY CARE RESEARCH TEAM ASSESSMENT: In 1998, the NHS Executive South and West, and later the London Research and Development Directorate, provided funding for a pilot project based at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop a scheme to accredit UK general practices undertaking primary care R&D. The pilot began with initial consultation on the development of the process, as well as the standards and criteria for assessment. The resulting assessment schedule allowed for assessment at one of two levels: Collaborative Research Practice (Level I), with little direct experience of gaining project or infrastructure funding Established Research Practice (Level II), with more experience of research funding and activity and a sound infrastructure to allow for growth in capacity. The process for assessment of practices involved the assessment of written documentation, followed by a half-day assessment visit by a multidisciplinary team of three assessors. IMPLEMENTATION--THE PILOT PROJECT: Pilot practices were sampled in two regions. Firstly, in the NHS Executive South West Region, where over 150 practices expressed an interest in participating. From these a purposive sample of 21 practices was selected, providing a range of research and service activity. A further seven practices were identified and included within the project through the East London and Essex Network of Researchers (ELENoR). Many in this latter group received funding and administrative support and advice from ELENoR in order to prepare written submissions for assessment. Some sample loss was encountered within the pilot project, which was attributable largely to conflicting demands on participants' time. Indeed, the preparation of written submissions within the South West coincided with the introduction of primary care groups (PCGs) in April 1999, which several practices cited as having a major impact on their participation in the pilot project. A final sample of 15 practices (nine in the South West and six through ELENoR) underwent assessment through the pilot project. EVALUATION: A formal evaluation of the Primary Care Research Team Assessment (PCRTA) pilot was undertaken by an independent researcher (FM). This was supplemented with feedback from the assessment team members. The qualitative aspect of the evaluation, which included face-to-face and telephone interviews with assessors, lead researchers and other practice staff within the pilot research practices, as well as members of the project management group, demonstrated a positive view of the pilot scheme. Several key areas were identified in relation to particular strengths of research practices and areas for development including: Strengths Level II practices were found to have a strong primary care team ethos in research. Level II practices tended to have a greater degree of strategic thinking in relation to research. Development areas Level I practices were found to lack a clear and explicit research strategy. Practices at both levels had scope to develop their communication processes for dissemination of research and also for patient involvement. Practices at both levels needed mechanisms for supporting professional development in research methodology. The evaluation demonstrated that practices felt that they had gained from their participation and assessors felt that the scheme had worked well. Some specific issues were raised by different respondents within the qualitative evaluation relating to consistency of interpretation of standards and also the possible overlap of the assessment scheme with other RCGP quality initiatives. NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRIMARY CARE RESEARCH TEAM ASSESSMENT: The pilot project has been very successful and recommendations have been made to progress to a UK scheme. Management and review of the scheme will remain largely the same, with a few changes focusing on the assessment process and support for practices entering the scheme. Specific changes include: development of the support and mentoring role of the primary care research networks increased peer and external support and mentoring for research practices undergoing assessment development of assessor training in line with other schemes within the RCGP Assessment Network work to ensure consistency across RCGP accreditation schemes in relation to key criteria, thereby facilitating comparable assessment processes refinement of the definition of the two groups, with Level I practices referred to as Collaborators and Level II practices as Investigator-Led. The project has continued to generate much enthusiasm and support and continues to reflect current policy. Indeed, recent developments include the proposed new funding arrangements for primary care R&D, which refer to the RCGP assessment scheme and recognise it as a key component in the future R&D agenda. The assessment scheme will help primary care trusts (PCTs) and individual practices to prepare and demonstrate their approach to research governance in a systematic way. It will also provide a more explicit avenue for primary care trusts to explore local service and development priorities identified within health improvement programmes and the research priorities set nationally for the NHS.
PMCID: PMC2560501  PMID: 12049028
14.  Integrated care pilot in north-west London: a mixed methods evaluation 
Introduction
This paper provides the results of a year-long evaluation of a large-scale integrated care pilot in north-west London. The pilot aimed to integrate care across primary, acute, community, mental health and social care for people with diabetes and/or those aged 75+ through care planning, multidisciplinary case reviews, information sharing and project management support.
Methods
The evaluation team conducted qualitative studies of change at organisational, clinician and patient levels (using interviews, focus groups and a survey); and quantitative analysis of change in service use and patient-level clinical outcomes (using patient-level datasets and a matched control study).
Results
The pilot had successfully engaged provider organisations, created a shared strategic vision and established governance structures. However, the engagement of clinicians was variable and there was no evidence to date of significant reductions in emergency admissions. There was some evidence of changes in care processes.
Conclusion
Although the pilot has demonstrated the beginnings of large-scale change, it remains in the early stages and faces significant challenges as it seeks to become sustainable for the longer term. It is critical that National Health Service managers and clinicians have realistic expectations of what can be achieved in a relatively short period of time.
PMCID: PMC3807631  PMID: 24167455
integrated health care systems; health services research; health care; reform; patient-centred care; evaluation studies
15.  Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: lessons from the theory of communities of practice 
Background
The paper combines the analytical and instrumental perspectives on communities of practice (CoPs) to reflect on potential challenges that may arise in the process of interprofessional and inter-organisational joint working within the Collaborations for Leaderships in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs)--partnerships between the universities and National Health Service (NHS) Trusts aimed at conducting applied health research and translating its findings into day-to-day clinical practice.
Discussion
The paper discusses seminal theoretical literature on CoPs as well as previous empirical research on the role of these communities in healthcare collaboration, which is organised around the following three themes: knowledge sharing within and across CoPs, CoP formation and manageability, and identity building in CoPs. It argues that the multiprofessional and multi-agency nature of the CLAHRCs operating in the traditionally demarcated organisational landscape of the NHS may present formidable obstacles to knowledge sharing between various professional groupings, formation of a shared 'collaborative' identity, and the development of new communities within the CLAHRCs. To cross multiple boundaries between various professional and organisational communities and hence enable the flow of knowledge, the CLAHRCs will have to create an effective system of 'bridges' involving knowledge brokers, boundary objects, and cross-disciplinary interactions as well as address a number of issues related to professional and organisational identification.
Summary
The CoP approach can complement traditional 'stage-of-change' theories used in the field of implementation research and provide a basis for designing theory-informed interventions and evaluations. It can help to illuminate multiple boundaries that exist between professional and organisational groups within the CLAHRCs and suggest ways of crossing those boundaries to enable knowledge transfer and organisational learning. Achieving the aims of the CLAHRCs and producing a sustainable change in the ways applied health research is conducted and implemented may be influenced by how effectively these organisations can navigate through the multiple CoPs involved and promote the development of new multiprofessional and multi-organisational communities united by shared practice and a shared sense of belonging--an assumption that needs to be explored by further empirical research.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-64
PMCID: PMC3130688  PMID: 21699712
16.  Barriers and facilitators to change in the organisation and delivery of endoscopy services in England and Wales: a focus group study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001009.
Objective
Explore professional views of changes to gastroenterology service organisation and delivery and barriers and facilitators impacting on change. The work was undertaken as part of an evaluation in endoscopy service provision catalysed by the Modernising Endoscopy Services Programme of the Modernisation Agency.
Design
Focus groups followed by analysis and group-working activities identifying key themes.
Setting
English and Welsh secondary care gastroenterology units.
Participants
20 professionals working in gastroenterology in England and Wales. Medical, surgical and nursing specialists including endoscopy nurses. Opportunistic sampling to include senior people in leadership and management roles who were directly involved in service modernisation, excluding those involved in the Modernisation Endoscopy Services Programme.
Results
Four 1.5 h focus groups took place in 2007. Summative and thematic analyses captured essential aspects of text and achieved consensus on key themes. 4 themes were revealed: ‘loss of personal autonomy and erosion of professionalism’, ‘lack of senior management understanding’, ‘barriers and facilitators to change’ and ‘differences between English and Welsh units’. Themes indicated that low staff morale, lack of funding and senior management support were barriers to effective change. Limitations to the study include the disproportionately low number of focus group attendees from English units and the time delay in reporting these findings.
Conclusions
Despite ambitions to implement change, ineffective management support continued to hamper modernisation of service organisation and delivery. While the National Health Service Modernisation Agency Modernising Endoscopy Services Programme acted as a catalyst for change, affecting the way staff work, communicate and think, it was not effective in heralding change itself. However, gastroenterologists were keen to consider the potential for change and future service modernisation. The methodological framework of innovative qualitative enquiry offers comprehensive and rigorous enhancement of quantitative studies, including randomised trials, when a mixed methods approach is needed.
Article summary
Article focus
Examine the opinions of gastroenterologists and endoscopy nurses regarding the effects of change on service organisation and delivery.
Establish views regarding the impact of change on professional practice and self-identity.
Describe barriers and facilitators to change in gastroenterological endoscopy services and across units in England and Wales to explore differences.
Key messages
GI consultants, surgeons and endoscopy nurses described barriers to change and service modernisation resulting largely from lack-lustre senior management support, inadequate funding and low staff morale.
The Modernising Endoscopy Services Programme raised the profile of change but was not effective in catalysing change itself. Nevertheless, participants saw real potential in overcoming barriers to change in order to promote future service modernisation.
The methodological framework of innovative qualitative enquiry used in this study offers the opportunity for comprehensive and rigorous enhancement of quantitative studies, including randomised trials, when a mixed methods approach is needed.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The study took place in 2007 but the findings offer a unique historical perspective on professional views at that time.
This was a time when further efforts to promote modernisation of endoscopy services in England, through quality monitoring and accreditation of units was starting.
The number of people participating in focus groups was small; however, the qualitative study was looking for depth rather than breadth of data disclosure.
Participants covered a wide range of medical, surgical and nursing professions working in gastroenterology, and there is no reason to believe their views are not reliable and applicable to the wider gastroenterology professional population.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001009
PMCID: PMC3383987  PMID: 22734116
17.  Development of a Chronic Care Model for Neurological Conditions (CCM-NC) 
Background
Persons with neurological conditions and their families face a number of challenges with the provision of health and community-based services. The purpose of this study was to understand the existing health and community service needs and gaps in care and to use this information to develop a model to specify factors and processes that may improve the quality of care and health and well-being for persons with neurological conditions.
Methods
We conducted semi-structured interviews with health care professionals, community-based non-health care professionals working with individuals with neurological conditions, and policy makers –from the Ministries of Health, Community and Social Services, Transportation and Education– across Canada. We used a purposive sampling and snowballing approach to obtain maximum variation across professions, sector and geography (provinces and territories, rural and urban). Data analysis was an iterative, constant comparative process involving descriptive and interpretive analyses and was initially guided by the components of the Expanded Chronic Care Model.
Results
A total of 180 individuals completed the interviews: 39% (n = 70) health care professionals, 47% (n = 85) community-based non-health care professionals, and 14% (n = 25) policy makers. Based on the data we developed the Chronic Care Model for Neurological Conditions (CCM-NC). The major needs/gaps are represented by the following themes: acceptance and openness to neurological conditions, evidence informed policy, investments and funding, supported transitions, caregiver support, and life enhancing resources (education, employment, housing and transportation), knowledge and awareness of neurological conditions and availability and access to health services. The model maintains that intersectoral collaboration across the health system, community and policy components is needed. It recognizes that attitudes, policies, enhanced community integration and health system changes are needed to develop activated patients and families, proactive service delivery teams, a person-centred health system and healthy public policy for persons with neurological conditions.
Conclusion
The CCM-NC will generate debate and discussion about the actions needed in each of the model components to enable people with neurological conditions to sustain healthier lives. Next steps include validating the model with persons with neurological conditions, in and outside of the Canadian context and developing and evaluating interventions to test the model.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-409) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-409
PMCID: PMC4262116  PMID: 25236443
18.  Models of inter professional working for older people living at home: a survey and review of the local strategies of english health and social care statutory organisations 
Background
Most services provided by health and social care organisations for older people living at home rely on interprofessional working (IPW). Although there is research investigating what supports and inhibits how professionals work together, less is known about how different service models deliver care to older people and how effectiveness is measured. The aim of this study was to describe how IPW for older people living at home is delivered, enacted and evaluated in England.
Method
An online survey of health and social care managers across England directly involved in providing services to older people, and a review of local strategies for older people services produced by primary care organisations and local government adult services organisations in England.
Results
The online survey achieved a 31% response rate and search strategies identified 50 local strategies that addressed IPW for older people living at home across health and social care organisations. IPW definitions varied, but there was an internal consistency of language informed by budgeting and organisation specific definitions of IPW.
Community Services for Older People, Intermediate Care and Re-enablement (rehabilitation) Teams were the services most frequently identified as involving IPW. Other IPW services identified were problem or disease specific and reflected issues highlighted in local strategies. There was limited agreement about what interventions or strategies supported the process of IPW. Older people and their carers were not reported to be involved in the evaluation of the services they received and it was unclear how organisations and managers judged the effectiveness of IPW, particularly for services that had an open-ended commitment to the care of older people.
Conclusion
Health and social care organisations and their managers recognise the value and importance of IPW. There is a theoretical literature on what supports IPW and what it can achieve. The need for precision may not be so necessary for the terms used to describe IPW. However, there is a need for shared identification of both user/patient outcomes that arise from IPW and greater understanding of what kind of model of IPW achieves what kind of outcomes for older people living at home
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-337
PMCID: PMC3295707  PMID: 22168957
19.  Money for value: the Kinzigtal-way to measure the produced value and health gain in a local area 
‘Triple Aim’ is the buzzword for the initiatives of the Obama-administration in the US and is referring to a famous article of Don Berwick et al. in 2008 in health affairs asking for better health, better health care, and lower per capita costs. A similar venture started already in 2006 in Germany. One of the most challenging ventures towards reorienting health care in the direction of outcome-orientation is the measurement of the produced value and health gain in a local area. In this keynote the financial architecture and the specific way to measure the produced value and health gain in the integrated care pilot ‘Gesundes Kinzigtal’ will be described—as well some of the operating details and the results within.
Located in Southwest Germany, Gesundes Kinzigtal is the only population-based integrated care approaches in Germany, organising care across all health service sectors and indications, that is thoroughly scientifcally evaluated on its medical outcomes in regard to normal care. The system serving nearly half of the population of the region is run by a regional health management company in cooperation with the physicians’ network in the region, a German health care management company with a background in medical sociology and health economics and with two statutory health insurers.
Having started in 2006 the more effective trans-sector organisation of the local health care system and increased investments in well-designed preventive and health promotion programmes have led to a reduction in morbidity and mortality, and in particular to reduced overall costs for the insurees of these sickness funds. The results for one of the insurers show a substantial morbidity adjusted efficiency gain already for the years 2007–2010, rising to more than 16% of total costs (included are pharmaceutical, hospital, nursing, emergency as well as physiotherapist and sick leave costs).
More Information can be found on www.optimedis.de and www.gesundes-kinzigtal.de and on the evaluation (in German and English) www.ekiv.org.
PMCID: PMC3617771
preventive and health promotion programmes; trans-sector organisation; Gesundes Kinzigtal; population-based integrated care; integrated care pilot; Germany
20.  Between-group behaviour in health care: gaps, edges, boundaries, disconnections, weak ties, spaces and holes. A systematic review 
Background
Gaps are typically regarded as a problem to be solved. People are stimulated to close or plug them. Researchers are moved to fill deficits in the literature in order to realise a more complete knowledge base, health authorities want to bridge policy-practice disconnections, managers to secure resources to remedy shortfalls between poor and idealised care, and clinicians to provide services to patients across the divides of organisational silos.
Despite practical and policy work in many health systems to bridge gaps, it is valuable to study research examining them for the insights provided. Structural holes, spaces between social clusters and weak or absent ties represent fissures in networks, located in less densely populated parts of otherwise closely connected social structures. Such gaps are useful as they illustrate how communication potentially breaks down or interactivity fails. This paper discusses empirical and theoretical work on this phenomenon with the aim of analysing a specific exemplar, the structures of silos within health care organisations.
Methods
The research literature on social spaces, holes, gaps, boundaries and edges was searched systematically, and separated into health [n = 13] and non-health [n = 55] samples. The health literature was reviewed and synthesised in order to understand the circumstances between stakeholders and stakeholder groups that both provide threats to networked interactions and opportunities to strengthen the fabric of organisational and institutional inter-relationships.
Results
The research examples illuminate various network structure characteristics and group interactions. They explicate a range of opportunities for improved social and professional relations that understanding structural holes, social spaces and absent ties affords. A principal finding is that these kinds of gaps illustrate the conditions under which connections are strained or have been severed, where the limits of integration between groups occurs, the circumstances in which social spaces are or need to be negotiated and the way divides are bridged. The study's limitations are that it is bounded by the focus of attention and the search terms used and there is yet to be developed a probabilistic, predictive model for gaps and how to connect them.
Conclusions
Gaps offer insights into social structures, and how real world behaviours of participants in workplaces, organisations and institutions are fragile. The paper highlights the circumstances in which network disjunctures and group divides manifest. Knowledge of these phenomenon provides opportunities for working out ways to improve health sector organisational communications, knowledge transmission and relationships.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-330
PMCID: PMC3004899  PMID: 21134295
21.  Costs and effects of a 'healthy living' approach to community development in two deprived communities: findings from a mixed methods study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:25.
Background
Inequalities in health have proved resistant to 'top down' approaches. It is increasingly recognised that health promotion initiatives are unlikely to succeed without strong local involvement at all stages of the process and many programmes now use grass roots approaches. A healthy living approach to community development (HLA) was developed as an innovative response to local concerns about a lack of appropriate services in two deprived communities in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. We sought to assess feasibility, costs, benefits and working relationships of this HLA.
Methods
The HLA intervention operated through existing community forums and focused on the whole community and its relationship with statutory and voluntary sectors. Local people were trained as community researchers and gathered views about local needs though resident interviews. Forums used interview results to write action plans, disseminated to commissioning organisations. The process was supported throughout through the project.
The evaluation used a multi-method before and after study design including process and outcome formative and summative evaluation; data gathered through documentary evidence, diaries and reflective accounts, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and costing proformas. Main outcome measures were processes and timelines of implementation of HLA; self reported impact on communities and participants; community-agency processes of liaison; costs.
Results
Communities were able to produce and disseminate action plans based on locally-identified needs. The process was slower than anticipated: few community changes had occurred but expectations were high. Community participants gained skills and confidence. Cross-sector partnership working developed. The process had credibility within service provider organisations but mechanisms for refocusing commissioning were patchy. Intervention costs averaged £58,304 per community per annum.
Conclusions
The intervention was feasible and inexpensive, with indications of potential impact at individual, community and policy planning levels. However, it is a long term process which requires sustained investment and must be embedded in planning and service delivery processes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-25
PMCID: PMC3032681  PMID: 21223586
22.  The inCASA project: improving the quality of life and social care for the ageing population 
This paper describes an ICT platform aiming to support the well-being of frail elderly people and facilitate them to stay longer and more healthily in their own home. Its principal characteristic is the combination of Telehealth and Telecare monitoring in a unified way, allowing the simultaneous health, mental and psychological status evaluation of an elderly person. For this purpose the platform enables the deployment of services to follow-up the patient’s health status based on a set of monitored parameters per disease, to track the suitability of the in-house environmental conditions and finally to profile user’s habits and diagnose deviations from their usual activities.
The inCASA project implements such platform based on a Service-Oriented Architecture which relies on the Hydra Middleware. Hydra is receiving measurements from proprietary Telehealth and Telecare gateways deployed in the home premises and transforms them into Health Level 7 (HL7) compliant data. Platform developers may add business logic and create healthcare applications on top of the Middleware without getting involved with low-level communication issues with the various types of sensor devices and their protocols. Another core module of the architecture is the Smart Personal Platform (SPP) in which the patient data are forwarded from Hydra, stored and analyzed. SPP includes a reasoning mechanism responsible for the comparison of retrieved measurements with specified thresholds per monitored parameter and per patient. Furthermore, this mechanism detects deviations from the stored habits profile of each user which is dynamically built based on history data. Either in the case of thresholds exceeding or in the case of habits profile deviation, alerts are generated and classified based on their severity. Both data and alerts are available in the back-end user interface of the platform, the so-called Consumer Application interface which is the single point of access for the inCASA operators. In this Web Application, there is an integrated view of Telecare (e.g. movement, habits) and Telehealth (e.g. body weight, blood pressure) data offering also graphical and statistical facilities. Forwarded from the SPP alerts are presented real-time on screen by the Consumer Applications and, if this is the case, other relevant actions take place too, like SMS sending to relatives, doctors and/or operators.
inCASA is an EU co-funded pilot project with a combination of industry and academic partners and has already deployed its pre-mature solution to five European pilots (hospitals or social services). The primary measurable indicators during the pilots include the overall elderly patient satisfaction with the provided services, enhancement of their self-reliance and living conditions and the added value of this service model (i.e. reduced hospitalization of patients and/or response times to emergencies). First results are already collected and satisfy the doctors/operators aim for Telehealth-Telecare integration. One of their main targets that can be supported by the aforementioned integration is the early detection of health deterioration triggered by deviation in user’s habits. In our presentation, we will report on latest results and discuss challenges and benefits of the Telehealth and Telecare monitoring combination.
PMCID: PMC3571144
telehealth; telecare; service-oriented architecture; habits profiling; assisted-living
23.  Developing integrated health and social care services for older persons in Europe 
Abstract
Purpose
This paper is to distribute first results of the EU Fifth Framework Project ‘Providing integrated health and social care for older persons—issues, problems and solutions’ (PROCARE—http://www.euro.centre.org/procare/). The project's first phase was to identify different approaches to integration as well as structural, organisational, economic and social-cultural factors and actors that constitute integrated and sustainable care systems. It also served to retrieve a number of experiences, model ways of working and demonstration projects in the participating countries which are currently being analysed in order to learn from success—or failure—and to develop policy recommendations for the local, national and European level.
Theory
The paper draws on existing definitions of integrated care in various countries and by various scholars. Given the context of an international comparative study it tries to avoid providing a single, ready-made definition but underlines the role of social care as part and parcel of this type of integrated care in the participating countries.
Methods
The paper is based on national reports from researchers representing ten organisations (university institutes, consultancy firms, research institutes, the public and the NGO sector) from 9 European countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. Literature reviews made intensive use of grey literature and evaluation studies in the context of at least five model ways of working in each country.
Results
As a result of the cross-national overview an attempt to classify different approaches and definitions is made and indicators of relative importance of the different instruments used in integrating health and social care services are provided.
Conclusions
The cross-national overview shows that issues concerning co-ordination and integration of services are high on the agenda in most countries. Depending on the state of service development, various approaches and instruments can be observed. Different national frameworks, in particular with respect to financing and organisation, systemic development, professionalisation and professional cultures, basic societal values (family ethics), and political approaches have to be taken into account during the second phase of PROCARE during which transversal and transnational analysis will be undertaken based on an in-depth analysis of two model ways of working in each country.
Discussion
Far from a European vision concerning integrated care, national health and social care systems remain—at best—loosely coupled systems that are facing increasing difficulties, given the current challenges, in particular in long-term care for older persons: increasing marketisation, lack of managerial knowledge (co-operation, co-ordination), shortage of care workers and a general trend towards down-sizing of social care services continue to hamper the first tentative pathways towards integrated care systems.
PMCID: PMC1393267  PMID: 16773149
health and social care; integrated service delivery; older persons in need of care; European overview
24.  The long term importance of English primary care groups for integration in primary health care and deinstitutionalisation of hospital care 
Abstract
Purpose
This article reviews the impact of successive experiments in the development of primary care organisations in England and assesses the long-term importance of English primary care groups for the integration of health and community and health and social care and the deinstitutionalisation of hospital care.
Theory
Governments in a number of Western countries are attempting to improve the efficiency, appropriateness and equity of their health systems. One of the main ways of doing this is to devolve provision and commissioning responsibility from national and regional organisations to more local agencies based in primary care. Such primary care organisations are allocated budgets that span both primary and secondary (hospital) services and also, potentially, social care.
Method
This article is based on a systematic review of the literature forthcoming from the UK Government's Department of Health-funded evaluations of successive primary care organisational developments. These include total purchasing pilots, GP commissioning group pilots, personal medical services pilots and primary care groups and trusts.
Results
Primary care organisations in England have proved to be a catalyst in facilitating the development of integrated care working between primary and community health services. Conversely, primary care organisations have proved less effective in promoting integration between health and social care agencies where most progress has been made at the strategic commissioning level. The development of primary care trusts in England is heralding an end to traditional community hospitals.
Conclusions
The development of primary care groups in England are but an intermediate step of a policy progression towards future primary care-based organisations that will functionally integrate primary and community health services with local authority services under a single management umbrella.
PMCID: PMC1484401  PMID: 16896416
primary care; integrated care; managed care; England
25.  Associations between Mode of HIV Testing and Consent, Confidentiality, and Referral: A Comparative Analysis in Four African Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001329.
A study carried out by Carla Obermeyer and colleagues examines whether practices regarding consent, confidentiality, and referral vary depending on whether HIV testing is provided through voluntary counseling and testing or provider-initiated testing.
Background
Recommendations about scaling up HIV testing and counseling highlight the need to provide key services and to protect clients' rights, but it is unclear to what extent different modes of testing differ in this respect. This paper examines whether practices regarding consent, confidentiality, and referral vary depending on whether testing is provided through voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) or provider-initiated testing.
Methods and Findings
The MATCH (Multi-Country African Testing and Counseling for HIV) study was carried out in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. Surveys were conducted at selected facilities. We defined eight outcome measures related to pre- and post-test counseling, consent, confidentiality, satisfactory interactions with providers, and (for HIV-positive respondents) referral for care. These were compared across three types of facilities: integrated facilities, where testing is provided along with medical care; stand-alone VCT facilities; and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) facilities, where testing is part of PMTCT services. Tests of bivariate associations and modified Poisson regression were used to assess significance and estimate the unadjusted and adjusted associations between modes of testing and outcome measures. In total, 2,116 respondents tested in 2007 or later reported on their testing experience. High percentages of clients across countries and modes of testing reported receiving recommended services and being satisfied. In the unadjusted analyses, integrated testers were less likely to meet with a counselor before testing (83% compared with 95% of VCT testers; p<0.001), but those who had a pre-test meeting were more likely to have completed consent procedures (89% compared with 83% among VCT testers; p<0.001) and pre-test counseling (78% compared with 73% among VCT testers; p = 0.015). Both integrated and PMTCT testers were more likely to receive complete post-test counseling than were VCT testers (59% among both PMTCT and integrated testers compared with 36% among VCT testers; p<0.001). Adjusted analyses by country show few significant differences by mode of testing: only lower satisfaction among integrated testers in Burkina Faso and Uganda, and lower frequency of referral among PMTCT testers in Malawi. Adjusted analyses of pooled data across countries show a higher likelihood of pre-test meeting for those testing at VCT facilities (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.07–1.38) and higher satisfaction for stand-alone VCT facilities (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.06–1.25), compared to integrated testing, but no other associations were statistically significant.
Conclusions
Overall, in this study most respondents reported favorable outcomes for consent, confidentiality, and referral. Provider-initiated ways of delivering testing and counseling do not appear to be associated with less favorable outcomes for clients than traditional, client-initiated VCT, suggesting that testing can be scaled up through multiple modes without detriment to clients' rights.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2007, World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) issued a joint guidance document on “provider-initiated” HIV testing and counseling. They noted that previous testing strategies that relied on “client-initiated” testing (also referred to as VCT, for voluntary counseling and testing) had failed to reach enough people, both in high-income and resource-constrained countries—in Africa, for example, at that time, just 12% of men and 10% of women had ever been tested. They argued that many opportunities to diagnose and counsel people that visit health facilities for other reasons are being missed, and that provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling can help expand access to HIV treatment, care, and support. They made it clear, however, that mandatory testing is not acceptable. All provider-initiated testing must therefore give individuals the option to not be tested. In addition, the guidelines stressed that all testing must continue to observe “the three Cs” (informed consent, counseling, and confidentiality) and be accompanied by an “enabling environment” including the availability of antiretroviral therapy, prevention and support services, and a supportive social, policy, and legal framework. A number of advocates have subsequently criticized the guidelines for failing to recognize that health-care services and staff in some countries do not always observe the three Cs. Critics have also questioned the appropriateness of the strategy for settings where antiretroviral therapy is not always available or where stigma and discrimination remain widespread.
Why Was This Study Done?
To inform the debate surrounding scale-up of HIV testing in general and provider-initiated testing in particular with data on “real-life” testing, researchers have since carried out a number of studies. One of them, called MATCH (for Multi-Country African Testing and Counseling for HIV), was designed to allow systematic comparisons across African countries of different ways of HIV testing. Its goal was to investigate the uptake of testing, to analyze differences in the experience of testing across countries and modes of testing, and to use the results to devise better strategies to increase knowledge of HIV status and referral to care. MATCH used different means to collect information, including surveys and interviews. People from Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda participated. Some had undergone HIV testing, others had not. This study used a subset of the survey data collected for the MATCH study and asked whether there were systematic differences depending on the type of testing people had experienced.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The data the researchers used were from 2,116 people who had undergone testing in the two previous years at different facilities in the four countries. The different facilities were grouped into three “modes” of testing: VCT-only testing, integrated testing (which included hospitals and other medical facilities where provider-initiated and client-initiated testing were both available, along with other medical services), and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) testing at medical facilities offering services to pregnant women. Analyzing the survey responses, the researchers categorized them as related to eight different “outcomes”: pre-test meeting, pre-test counseling, consent, confidentiality, satisfaction with the person-to-person interactions, post-test meeting to receive results, post-test counseling, and referral to care.
They found that across countries and different facilities, the majority of participants reported having received most of the testing-related services. More than 90% reported having a pre-test meeting, and around 80% were satisfied with the personal interactions, with the consent process, and with confidentiality. About 50% of participants reported receiving all post-test services, and 71% of those who had tested positive for HIV reported appropriate referral to care.
When they looked for differences between different modes of testing, the researchers found that while they existed, they did not consistently favor one mode over another. Some outcomes scored higher in VCT facilities, some in PMTCT facilities, and some in integrated facilities.
What Do These Findings Mean?
While there is room for improvement in HIV testing services (especially post-test services) across the countries and facilities included, the study did not reveal major problems with consent or confidentiality. The results also suggest that services at PMTCT and integrated facilities are not any worse than those at VCT-only sites. It seems therefore reasonable to continue expanding access to HIV testing and to include all facilities in the scale-up. That said, this is only one of a number of studies examining issues surrounding HIV testing, and decisions should be based on all available evidence. The results here are consistent with some of the other studies, but there are also reports that counseling might become neglected as testing is scaled up, and that offering testing routinely at every doctor's visit makes it seem mandatory even if there is the possibility to “opt out.” Other analyses of the MATCH study use in-depth interviews to understand in more detail the feelings, experiences, and attitudes of participants who have been tested as well as those who have not been tested. It will be important to see whether their results are consistent with the ones here, which are based on a survey of people who have been tested.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001329.
WHO has published a toolkit for scaling up HIV testing and counseling services in resource-limited settings, as well as the report Service Delivery Approaches to HIV Testing and Counselling (HSC): A Strategic HTC Programme Framework
In response to reactions to the 2007 joint WHO/UNAIDS guidelines Guidance on Provider-Initiated HIV Testing and Counselling in Health Facilities, the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights issued a Statement and Recommendations on Scaling up HIV Testing and Counselling
The NAM/aidsmap website has a section on HIV testing policies and guidelines.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001329
PMCID: PMC3479110  PMID: 23109914

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