Leading greater integration
With a drive towards greater integration of health and social care, some services may be facing significant changes. But, as Lorraine Yeomans explains, midwives are already leading the charge
The Skills for Health working paper, Integration and the development of the workforce (Skills for Health, 2017) set out a drive for greater integration between health and social care, reframing the debates around how services might be delivered and the skills, knowledge and understanding that clinicians may require.
The key principles of integrated care aim to ensure that care is catered to, and led by, patients and their communities, with a focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent illness. This will involve collaboration between organisations, from volunteer groups to hospital trusts, and will also endeavour to use new technologies in a way that improves efficiency without isolating patients.
Many of the principles of integrated health and social care will already be present in the midwifery model. Women are placed at the centre of care, and a holistic philosophy ensures that physical, psychological and social factors are recognised as essential components of health for the mother and her baby.
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