Integrating health and social care services remains one of the most difficult undertakings in the field of care delivery. One of the key requirements for success in integration programmes is a shared vision amongst care providers. Shared visions may contain views as to what the new services should look like, how it should operate and what it should be able to achieve. The paper reports findings of an evaluation of a service integration programme in the North of England. It confirms that a programme consensus on issues such as aims and objectives and programme logics is seen by participants as a key to success. Yet, the study also found that there is a specific window of opportunity in integration programmes when participating organisations start on relatively high levels of commitment and enthusiasm which tend to tail off relatively quickly. The paper closes with a discussion about the implications of the findings for programme designers and service planners.
- health services
- health management
- health improvement programmes
- health and social care