Integration is the way forward for both the NHS and Social services.
Health budgets are devolved within the UK and that has caused for the Scottish Government to look at how they streamline budgets in relation to both health and social care.
And, before you shout 'you lost, get over it' (you know who you are
) it is now being looked at as a standard down south too, because it makes sense.
In essence, social care and health care budgets are being rolled into one and to make it viable there are areas within these budgets that are considered 'integrated'. It's essentially pooling from the one pond to save money.
In my current role I investigate both NHS and Social Work clients if they have had a fall within the past 6 months or so. Why? Because if a social work client has falls they probably have a medical reason for it....and if there is no medical cure then social work will have to put in place measures to minimise that client's daily living via equipment referd via an Occupational therapist. But! BUT! The NHS has OT's too...so why waste money passing from one OT to another, especially if the NHS OT has deemed what is appropriate, but can't action it as it's a social work OT's area? ?
Integrated care means communication between the two and not only creating inter-departmental comms that didn't previously exist it saves money as two previously completely separate areas are now intercommunicating as opposed to waiting on each others' paperwork and official clearance.
It makes far more sense to me than a privatised system where one company that is between patients' need waits for paper work from another and 'CHARGES' each other for that privilege!