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How Patient Experience Benefits Integrated Care Systems

5 minute read | 25/03/2024

How Patient Experience Benefits Integrated Care Systems

The role of integrated care systems such as GPs, clinical commissioning groups and mental health support services are priceless. Collaboration is critical to providing the best level of care, utilising the relationships between staff and patients.

This blog explores how we can forge the path to integrated care. 

  1. Why integrated care is important
  2. How collaboration has already been implemented
  3. How a patient engagement system can help collaboration

Why integrated care is important

Integrated care removes the barriers between hospitals and family doctors, physical and mental health practitioners, and the NHS and council services.

Integrated care systems (ICSs) strive to ensure patients and healthcare professionals receive the support they need to deliver a better patient experience.

ICSs were legally established on 1 July 2022, covering all of England. They aim to:

  • Improve outcomes in population health and healthcare
  • Tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • Enhance productivity and value for money
  • Help the NHS support broader social and economic development


A shift in improving patient experience is needed to achieve these goals. Patient experience significantly affects patients' recovery as they feel more supported, relaxed and in control of their health. In the 2023 GP survey, 71.3% of patients rated their overall experience of their GP practice as good, with 36.8% rating their experience as 'very good'. 

By focusing on patient experience, healthcare professionals can ensure patients feel supported and empowered in managing their health, leading to quicker recovery times and reduced readmission rates.


The positive feedback from the GP survey demonstrates that collaborative efforts between healthcare providers, such as GPs, clinical commissioning groups and mental health support services, are making a significant difference in patient care.


How collaboration has already been implemented

Creating a healthcare community that facilitates the connection between those who understand an individual's needs and the appropriate specialist service is vital. Then, the patient will receive a more streamlined and direct form of care that best utilises NHS resources.

Collaborations like this are working across the country; the Humber, Coast and Vale ICS brings together three providers, a mental health lead, a community health and care lead, and an acute provider, to build a forum ensuring resource sharing across collaboratives. 

Together, the teams assist each other in establishing specialised services such as a community diagnostic hub programme, the Ageing Well programme, and targeted mental health services in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.   

"I have witnessed unprecedented collaboration across all partners to help, share and create solutions to problems, enabling tens of thousands of consultations to be carried out remotely using digital to help support people right across our ICS area," says John Skidmore, Digital Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

"The establishment of the ICS has enabled the Partnership to thrive and remain in control of appointments during recent years' restrictions, but Skidmore notes that it wouldn't have been possible without the accompanying assistance of digital."

Sharing resources and responsibilities is vital in ensuring patients feel seen and heard. We should also be utilising digital technology to combat other issues, such as a breakdown in communication leading to confusion and uncertainty.  


How a patient engagement system can help collaboration

Patient engagement systems work to eliminate confusion using a centralised hub that includes entertainment, engagement and education platforms. 

The system bridges the gap between staff and patients, giving users access to various entertainment and resources, such as digital meal ordering. Digital meal ordering is tailored to the individual's dietary requirements and follows them if a ward change occurs. 

A platform like this allows the patient to take control of their health by giving them access to the NHS app library and other educational content, all from their device. 

A patient entertainment system allows patients, visitors and staff to access various links promoting personal well-being, aiding the work between acute Trusts and mental health services.

Whether a free video-calling platform to keep in touch with loved ones during hospital stays or a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the ward with digitised magazines, a good platform can be tailored to your users and your ICS.  

Learn more about patient engagement systems and how they can help improve the patient experience in our free download below. 

Patient Experience

75% of patients want digital healthcare services

So let’s work together to give it to them, all while optimising NHS processes.

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