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Integrating health and social care

Our aim is to ensure that Thanet’s people are supported to be well and healthy in their own homes and communities, by delivering a connected system, designed and delivered around local people, located in natural neighbourhoods.

When most people think about health, they think about hospital care or GP care. 

They don’t realise the wealth of services on offer or the sheer number of organisations involved in providing care – some of it classified as healthcare, some as social care. There is a great deal of complexity and fragmentation which has grown up over many years and now it needs to change.

Why? One of the key reasons is a success story. In general we’re living much longer, often with a number of long-term health conditions requiring input from different health and care professionals. People in this position need a team around them to help them stay well and take care of their different needs when they become unwell.

Everyone involved in such a team needs to be able to talk to each other, to share their insight into the patient’s needs, and to develop and deliver a plan for their care. This sounds like common-sense but the reality is, at the moment, there are barriers that get in the way of this working as smoothly as it should.

The other key reason for change is that, as is well-known, there are both financial and staffing constraints on the NHS and on social care. We need to get the best possible value out of every pound of taxpayers’ money we spend, and to make the best possible use of the pool of staff available, particularly specialist staff who tend to be few in number.

Joining up care will enable us both to improve care for people who need health and care services and make the best use of resources – a win-win.