Integration of health and social care is a core policy aim of the new coalition government in England. It has several benefits for patients, particularly older people and those with long-term conditions. But how does integration work in practice? This paper sets out how one particular area – Torbay – created an integrated care system that aimed to improve care for ‘Mrs Smith’, a fictitious user of health and social care services.
This case study sets out the background to the development of integrated care, the setting up of a pilot team, the implementation of an integrated management structure, the establishment of Torbay Care Trust (which is a fully integrated NHS organisation responsible for commissioning and providing community health and social care services) and assesses the impact of the integrated system on the performance of the Torbay health and social care economy.