About the project
To improve health and social care services across the city of Manchester, Manchester Local Care Organisation (MLCO) has been created to deliver community based care. MLCO is a public sector organisation, formed by Manchester’s Health and Care Commissioner and four provider partners:
The four provider organisations have signed a Partnering Agreement, which formalises an agreement to work collaboratively, in partnership, across organisations and disciplines.
Commissioning of these services will be through Manchester Health Care Commissioning (MHCC). NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester will evaluate the integration process in order to inform the ongoing restructuring of these health and care services.
Why is it important?
The level of demand for health and social care services has been steadily increasing over recent years. Many of these demands have become more complex. Manchester has significantly lower life expectancy than the rest of the country; vast health inequalities across the city and some of England’s highest levels of alcohol and smoking-related deaths. If services are to continue providing appropriate, efficient and sustainable care, they need to respond to these changes.
Emphasis has recently been placed on the benefits of a holistic approach, with the person at the centre of the conversation about their care. This requires integrating health and social care at neighbourhood level. To successfully do this, commissioners and providers need to have a thorough understanding of the factors that both enable and inhibit such change. This evaluative study will provide valuable insight into the process of integration, not only for MHCC, but also other regions where similar work is to be undertaken.
The project has a number of elements:
A literature review to understand what is known about integration in healthcare and inform other elements of the project;
In-depth interviews with key people from both the commissioning and provider organisations. These interviews will help researchers develop a rich understanding of the factors that help or hinder integration. Where possible this understanding will be supplemented by observation of relevant meetings.
Data on team working will also be collected through the use of a survey called the Team Climate Inventory. Completing this at two time points will enable researchers to see how integration develops both within a team over time as well as between the various neighbourhood teams.
The data collected from the interviews and surveys will be fed back to key stakeholders through a number of timely workshops