What is integrated care?
Integrated care is a way of working that enables care to be provided in a way that reflects the whole of a person’s health needs; from prevention through to end of life, across both physical and mental health, and in partnership with the individual, their carers and family. The aim is to have care centred around the person, rather than organisations, to help people with complex needs get the care they need. To transform to a more person-centred model of care, changes are required at organisation, service and care delivery levels.
Why integrated care?
The NSW health system faces significant challenges in the coming decades as the effects of a changing population and the already growing prevalence of chronic and complex disease places pressures on the delivery of health care. Integrated care is a crucial step to delivering care that is patient-centred and that is of value to the people of NSW.
What's happening in NSW?
NSW Health has worked over a number of years, with partners, on integrated care. Integrated care has remained a top priority for NSW Health. Delivering truly integrated care is one of the three strategic directions in the NSW State Health Plan: Towards 2021
NSW Health initially enabled local areas to implement innovative, locally led models of integrated care across the state. This was to test and learn about what is effective in delivering integrated care. Local areas trialled new ways of working to deliver care. NSW Health groups also gathered information to better understand data about local people’s health, allowing them to provide care that is tailored to individual needs.
Now that NSW has more information about what works to deliver integrated care, NSW Health is working with local areas to scale up effective models of care and make care more widely available. This will offer more people the opportunity to live healthier lives for longer, and to stay out of hospital when they do not need to be there.