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J Health Serv Res Policy. 2016 Oct;21(4):282-5. doi: 10.1177/1355819616660581. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Integrated care: theory to practice.

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Research Associate, NIHR Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, UK
Professor, Centre for Primary Care, NIHR School for Primary Care Research, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, UK.
Research Fellow, Manchester Centre for Health Economics, University of Manchester, UK.


'Integrated care' is pitched as the solution to current health system challenges. In the literature, what integrated care actually involves is complex and contested. Multi-disciplinary team case management is frequently the primary focus of integrated care when implemented internationally. We examine the practical application of integrated care in the NHS in England to exemplify the prevalence of the case management focus. We look at the evidence for effectiveness of multi-disciplinary team case management, for the focus on high-risk groups and for integrated care more generally. We suggest realistic expectations of what integration of care alone can achieve and additional research questions.


case management; health policy; integrated care; multi-disciplinary team; organization of health services

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