King’s Fund: Sector must grow beyond integrated care as STPs ‘only part of the journey’

An expert from the King’s Fund has this week warned that integrated care systems like sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) are only “part of the journey” that local government and NHS organisations have to take towards driving better population health.

Speaking during the first day of the King’s Fund annual conference in London yesterday, of which PSE is a media partner, David Buck, a senior fellow in public health & inequalities at the think tank, talked about recent research into the importance of preventative care and the future of public health in the UK.

He argued that more needed to be done to reduce health inequalities in the UK, adding that although integrated care systems like STPs were a key part of this, they only make up part of the puzzle.

“The NHS is not as focused on inequality reduction and prevention as it perhaps should be,” Buck told the audience of public sector delegates. “But place is back. That’s really critical around the role of local places and your role within those local places.

“The key bit here is growing beyond integrated care, and we have reflected for quite a long time on working with the system. Integrated care is really critical, but its not the end of the story – it’s part of the journey.

“We need to get that right, but it isn’t the only thing we need to get right, and this work is intending to take us forward on that,” he continued.

“The work will be a better and more convincing story of all these factors come together, so the wider determinants of integrated help and social care, our behaviours and communities in health.

“That’s easy and maybe a little bit trite to say, but the issue we haven’t got to is how these various critical factors that impact on our health; how are they integrated together in place and how they work towards a higher quality of population health.

“We are interested in all these core sectors, but the critical thing is the overlap and the connections between these things too.”


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