Jamie Hailstone 30 June 2016

New care roles are a distraction warn experts

New integrated care jobs are not necessarily the best way of bringing services together, a leading think tank has warned.

In a new report published today, the King’s Fund claims there is limited to evident to support the creation of new roles – such as care navigators – and these roles often ‘fail to address the cultural gaps’ that exist in different organisations.

The healthcare think tank also claims there is ‘limited evidence’ that these roles can reduce costs.

The report concludes many of the skills needed to integrate health and care services already exist within the workforce.

‘Our analysis found new roles are not always the most effective way of delivering integrated care – and can in fact lead to solutions, which are unsustainable,’ said report author, Helen Gilburt.

‘While the aim of creating a more flexible and multi-skilled workforce to provide more holistic care is paramount, rather than create a new role, it is much more compelling to utilise the existing skills of the workforce more effectively and engage staff in identifying and implementing workforce solutions themselves.’

The Local Government Association’s portfolio holder for wellbeing, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, added: ‘We will use the report to work with partners to provide further advice and support as local areas develop their approaches to integration.

‘With resources continuing to be under strain, it is crucial that we make the right decisions for investment in the workforce. The focus on skills, team-building and engagement in this report will help drive that forward.’

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