Understanding user experience of integration in health and care services: lessons from pilot programmes in England



  • Chris Graham, Chief Executive, Picker


  • Jenny King, Chief Research Officer, Picker
  • Dan Wellings, Senior Fellow, The King’s Fund
  • Chris Branson, Head of System Development (Insight & Intelligence), NHS England and Improvement
  • Karen Lloyd, Head of Engagement, Joined Up Care Derbyshire

Understanding how patients and service users experience integrated care has been long recognised as a challenging policy area requiring innovative solutions. Researchers have started to outline the different considerations necessary to translate these sometimes abstract terms into concepts that patients and service users can relate to. But these methods have never before been trialled across the English health and care system in a systematic way.

The 2019 NHS Long Term Plan called for the development of an ‘integration index’ to support a better understanding of service users’ experiences of care coordination, in order to achieve the goal of holistic and personalised care that empowers and supports individuals. In response, NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioned two separate, but linked, research projects to test ways of gathering this data at health and care system level, and nationally, alongside work with HealthWatch to support a better understanding of different people’s needs and experiences regarding joined up care.

First, a team comprising The King’s Fund and Picker explored the feasibility of creating a local tool for health and care systems, in collaboration with four health and care systems. This resulted in a ‘how to guide’ for engaging with service users about integrated care at a local level.  Separately, Picker developed an approach to gathering survey data about patient, carer and staff experience of integrated care in specific condition areas, which is being piloted in three English health systems.

During this workshop, the principal investigators from each work programme, along with representatives from systems where the approaches are being piloted, will speak about how projects learnings relate to the growing international evidence base around measuring and monitoring integrated care. There will be a practical discussion and audience Q&A about how health and care organisations in England and beyond can incorporate consultation activities designed to give the clearest possible picture of the effectiveness of care coordination activity from a patient perspective.