The current picture

As people live longer, their reliance on the organisation that look after them becomes greater, which puts pressure on local health and social care systems. 

In Swindon, patients often speak of emergency departments being over-subscribed, GP surgeries being fully booked and staff having to do more with less resources available to them. 

 

Introducing integrated care

Many towns and cities - including Swindon - are now taking a joined-up approach to the challenges before them, with organisations coming together to deliver care and treatment more effectively. 

Integrated care - a new way of supporting people to live healthy, happy and independent lives - means combining different parts of the health and social care system so they work together to provide a slicker, smoother service that ensures the right care is given in the right place and at the right time. 

Invisible barriers that once caused delay and unnecessary obstacles will be broken down, allowing patients to move - for example - from hospital to their home, or from hospital to a supported living environment, with ease and in a way that is supported by the right people at every stage of the journey. 

 

The benefits

Accessing healthcare should be straightforward, with patients being able to get the help they need, without delay, from the most appropriate professional every time.

Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, and patients are often left explaining their story multiple times to different people as different teams struggle to agree the right course of action.

With integrated care, patients should begin to see frustrating scenarios like this confined to history. 

Not only does integrated care break down the organisational barriers that prevent patients from having a more streamlined experience, but it also puts a greater emphasis on providing patients with a more personalised standard of care that puts their best interests at the heart of every decision made. 

Elsewhere, more health and wellbeing support will be available locally, making it easier for people to live healthier lives without the need for regular visits to a hospital or GP surgery. 

 

Who's involved

Some of the organisations coming together to help deliver integrated care in Swindon are: 

  • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Swindon Borough Council 
  • Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group 
  • South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Medvivo 
  • Prospect Hospice