Planning and delivering integrated health and social care: guidance

Guidance on the planning and delivery principles which describe how integrated care should be planned and delivered and how the principles will work in tandem with the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes.

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4. Takes account of the particular characteristics and circumstances of different service-users

A person’s health and wellbeing cannot be separated from the rest of their life. They should be viewed as a whole person, taking into account not just their condition, impairment or needs, but the full reality of their lives. A person’s health and wellbeing can significantly impact on their wider lives, for example on their family or employment. Equally, their individual circumstances, such as where they live, can affect their health and wellbeing and their ability to achieve their desired outcomes or access services and support.

People need to be supported by care and support staff that listen to them and take time to understand their circumstances. This includes the things that help them to stay well, as well as barriers to good health and wellbeing, and to accessing care and support. This requires individual staff, and service planners, to respond to the impact of a whole range of characteristics and circumstances and such as poverty, disability, age, rurality, culture, family issues, sexual orientation, language and gender.

Staff and service planners should work with people to design services that are accessible, culturally appropriate and that support equality of access and outcomes for all. This principle encompasses equalities duties, but also goes beyond these and requires health and social care systems to proactively support improvements in health and wellbeing across all parts of the population.


Email: Frances Conlan

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