Research on integrated health and social care; Editor’s choice of the month in the ‘British Journal of Occupational Health'

New research published looks at the integration of services across health and social care and the enablers to improve integration and ultimately, the outcome of improving patient care.

Dr Stephanie Best, Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences from the College of Human and Health Sciences  has published her research in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy; ‘Facilitating integrated delivery of services across organisational boundaries: Essential enablers to integration’.

Integrated care across sectors has been an ambition in health and social care for some time and is a current priority across the United Kingdom. Integrating services is recognised as beneficial for service staff and users, with the alternative presented as ‘confusing, disconnected services [that] fail people and do not make best use of scarce resources.

Numerous factors were noted to facilitate integration and three essential enablers were highlighted. Leadership, communication and joint education were recognised as playing a central role in integrating services across organisational boundaries; without these three essential enablers, integration is liable to fail.

Dr Stephanie Best, comments, “I was delighted when the editor of the BJOT contacted me to say my paper was the editor’s choice for the month. Allied Health Professions (AHPs) play a key role in health and social care. As a Physiotherapist when I started researching at Swansea I wanted to raise their profile in the research literature. This work with Occupational Therapists does just this.There is a great emphasis on integration of services across health and social care. The applied impact of this paper will be to allow health care managers to focus on three key areas to facilitate the integration of services with the ultimate outcome of improving patient care.”