Integrated care

‘Integrated care’ is a term that reflects a concern to improve patient experience and achieve greater efficiency and value from health delivery systems. The aim is to address fragmentation in patient services, and enable better coordinated and more continuous care, frequently for an ageing population which has increasing incidence of chronic disease.'

Integration is 'the combined set of methods, processes and models that seek to bring this about.'

Key points 

  • International experience suggests that the integration of primary and secondary care is vital to the delivery of efficient and effective care.
  • Current reforms within the NHS in the UK emphasise the need to integrate care more effectively and are particularly concerned with how to address the division of care – across primary and secondary care.
  • Integrated care is "an organising principle for care delivery that aims to improve patient care and experience through improved coordination." 
  • Achieving integrated care 'requires that those involved with planning, financing and providing services have a shared vision, employ a combination of processes and mechanisms, and ensure that the patient’s perspective remains a central organising principle throughout.'
  • There is no single model of integrated care that is suited to all contexts, settings and circumstances.
  • More research is needed to develop, evaluate and implement effective approaches to inform decisions about how to develop integrated care. 

New strategy: Global people-centred integrated health services, World Health Organisation, March 2015

Dr Ed Kelley, Director Service Delivery and Safety, WHO launches the WHO global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services interim report at ICIC15 in Edinburgh, March 2015.

Joined-up Care

Joined-up care: Sam's story from The King's Fund  (Oct 2013)



International Foundation of Integrated Care (IJIC)

  • Conferences & events
  • Members network
  • Academy
  • Journal (as below)
  • Resources, news, blog
  • Visit website

International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC)

This is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal that has been publishing original articles in the field of integrated care since 2000.


Report: Acute hospitals & integrated care

Chris Naylor, Hugh Alderwick, Matthew Honeyman, Kings Fund, March 2015

"A core part of the vision in the NHS five year forward view is a fundamentally different role for acute hospitals. Hospitals in England and elsewhere face significant challenges as a result of rising demand and the changing needs of the population, and they will not be able to meet these challenges by continuing to work alone. Instead, acute trust leaders need to embrace a system-wide perspective and work increasingly closely with primary care, community services, social care and others."


Kings Fund

  • Integrated Care Centre
  • Range of videos
  • Blogs and links
  • Visit Kings Fund

Nuffield Trust


Credits: Health Navigator team.