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

Why does 'integrated care' matter? And what will it mean for patients? This short animation "aims to bring integrated care to life for anyone involved in improving patient care." This is just one of a number of useful resources on integrated care from the Kings Fund.  

 (Integrated Care, Kings Fund, UK)

Integrated care from a patient perspective

Watch this video which highlights how programmes in Counties Manukau are moving to become more planned and proactive with care integrated across hospital and community services. 

(Counties Manukau Health)

North American Conference on Integrated Care 2021

With the overarching theme ‘Co-designing for health and wellbeing with individuals and communities’, the conference will bring together leaders, researchers, clinicians, managers, citizens, patients and caregivers from around the world who are engaged in the design and delivery of integrated health and social care.

See this section to learn more about the following sessions:

  • Plenary 3 – Care Closer to Home and In Community – Innovation, technology and scale
  • Plenary 4 – Implementing Integrated Care- Top-down Policies and Bottom up Innovation
  • Closing Ceremony

Visit the website for more details.


Integrated care

Counties Manukau integrated care programmes

Learn about some of the integrated care programmes at CMDHB.

South AKL Integrated Care Research Group

Integrated Care Research Group

Based at the South Auckland Clinical Campus at Middlemore Hospital, the team conduct research into integrated care models. "Integrated care recognises that the determinants of health extend beyond the health system. It imposes that patient’s perspective as the organising principle of service delivery. Integrated care enables health and social care provision that is flexible personalised and seamless." 


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.

Integrated care models - WHO

Integrated care models: an overview (WHO)

A recent literature review identified over 175 definitions of integrated care and a multitude of frameworks and models. This document aims to consolidate these insights as well as provide a synthesis of existing integrated care models.




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.