The move towards integrated care has been the defining policy in health and care over the past decade and will continue to gather pace with the development of integrated care systems (ICSs). The aim of integrated care is to improve people’s outcomes and experiences of care by bringing services together around people and communities. This means addressing the fragmentation of services and lack of co-ordination that people often experience by providing person-centred, joined-up care.
One key question for ICSs and the partners working in them is how they will know whether they are meeting the needs of the people they serve. Those best placed to understand what they need, what is working and what could be improved are the people and communities using services. Their lived experience is a powerful tool to improve existing services and identify new and better ways to meet people’s needs.
Picker and The King’s Fund have worked with NHS England and NHS Improvement on how ICSs can listen to and learn from people and communities. This practical guide is for partners working in these systems, with ideas on how they might go about this.