Northern Ireland faces a growing elderly population and a health care system that is struggling to cope. It is not unique. There has been a commitment to improving the care for those with long-term conditions – shifting care into the community and closer to home, making care more personalised and supporting people to live independently for longer. Integrated care was seen as one way in which to help deliver on this aim.
Northern Ireland established 17 Integrated Care Pilots in 2013. Other parts of the UK working through similar challenges, have been funding Integrated Care approaches/ pilots for a number of years.
The funding continues to be a priority. In November 2013 the Department of Health selected 14 ‘integrated care pioneer’ sites throughout England to test different approaches to delivering person-centered and coordinated care across local health and social care systems. The Welsh Government has funded Integrated Care pilots, with further funding approved for 2016. The Scottish Government have also been funding Integrated Care approaches for several years and in 2015 they launched a £100m Integrated Care Fund accessible by local partnerships to support investment in integrated services for all adults.
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