General Practice and the Integration of Care

This policy paper – published in 2012 following extensive consultation with the Royal College of General Practitioners members and external organisations – sets out the RCGP’s vision for integrated care.

The report concludes that integration of care is about placing patients at the centre of the design and delivery of care. It leads to better outcomes for patients, safer services and improved patient experience, and can also act as an enabler of more cost effective care. As such, it is an urgent priority for the NHS, particularly at a time when the number of patients with long term and complex conditions is rising, and when services are under growing financial strain.

There is a natural affinity between the principles that underpin integrated care and general practice. This report draws on the experience of the RCGP’s members to make the case for integrated care; sets out the leading role that general practice can play in implementing it; and asks what needs to be done by policy makers and professionals to support this.

It sets out the following RCGP definition of integration of care: ‘Patient-centred, primary care led, delivered by multi-professional teams, where each profession retains their professional autonomy but works across professional and organisational boundaries to deliver the best possible health outcomes.’

You can view this paper on the Royal College of General Practitioners website.