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Co‐location, an enabler for service integration? Lessons from an evaluation of integrated community care teams in East London

Lalani, M; Marshall, M; (2020) Co‐location, an enabler for service integration? Lessons from an evaluation of integrated community care teams in East London. Health and Social Care in the Community 10.1111/hsc.13211. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

In an attempt to support care integration that promotes joined up service provision and patient‐centred care across care boundaries, local health and social care organisations have embarked on several initiatives and approaches. A key component of service integration is the co‐location of different professional groups. In this study, we consider the extent to which co‐location is an enabler for service integration by examining multi‐professional community care teams. The study presents findings from a qualitative evaluation of integrated care initiatives in a borough of East London, England, undertaken between 2017 and 2018. The evaluation employed a participatory approach, the Researcher‐in‐Residence model. Participant observation (n = 80 hr) and both semi‐structured individual (n = 16) and group interviews (six groups, n = 17 participants) were carried out. Thematic analysis of the data was undertaken. The findings show that co‐location can be an effective enabler for service integration providing a basis for joint working, fostering improved communication and information sharing if conditions such as shared information systems and professional cultures (shared beliefs and values) are met. Organisations must consider the potential barriers to service integration such as differing professional identity, limited understanding of roles and responsibilities and a lack of continuity in personnel. Co‐location remains an important facet in the development of multi‐professional teams and local service integration arrangements, but as yet, has not been widely acknowledged as a priority in care practice. Organisations that are committed to greying care boundaries and providing joined up patient care must ensure that sufficient focus is provided at the service delivery level and not assume that decades of silo working in health and social care and strong professional cultures will be resolved by co‐location.

Type: Article
Title: Co‐location, an enabler for service integration? Lessons from an evaluation of integrated community care teams in East London
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13211
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13211
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: co-location, integrated care, partnership working
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115165
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