Integrated care should be based on the needs of patients rather than buildings, a new statement has claimed.
The document, published jointly by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of General Practitioners, is in support of new models that aim to prioritise this area of health, along with the needs of service users and wider communities.
Supported by other medical royal colleges and faculties, the statement outlines the values, vision and commitments of both leading colleges and how they want to work together to promote person-centred care, integrated care and collaboration.
Both institutions want to involve patients, carers, and service users across the breadth of their work to make changes at a national level, affecting patients all around the country. They also hope this will allow them to break down traditional organisational boundaries in order to coordinate care and meet people’s needs.
President of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Professor Jane Dacre said: "Primary care and acute care have always worked together for the wellbeing of today’s and tomorrow’s patients. It is vital that we remove the artificial barriers between us, and this statement opens the door for us to work ever more closely together, celebrating the care that we provide for patients."
Outlined in the statement were several aims and objectives, including what a healthcare system of the future should deliver to patients. The document says that all patients should be supported in leading a healthier lifestyle, while also meeting the very basic care needs at all times.
It also draws attention to the importance of taking people's experience into consideration when delivering care, and making sure patients are aware of who is responsible for their care.
Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said that more integration and better collaborative working between primary, secondary and community care will be beneficial for GPs, the health service and patients.
Many healthcare professionals across the NHS are currently under pressure to cope with increasing patient demand with the resources available, making it essential that it is determined how best these limited resources can be used in the best interest of patients, she said.
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