Networks and governance: the case of intermediate care
Author: Moore J, West R M, Keen J, Godfrey M, Townsend J
Journal: Health and Social Care in the Community, 2007
Volume/pages: Vol 15(2), pp155-164
About the study
This study of intermediate care in five English sites tracked the movements of individuals through the system. Patientsâ€™ patterns of use of intermediate care services as well as their location six months after discharge were explored. Methods included collection of routine admissions data from all intermediate care services over a twelve month period, and tracking of service users following discharge. It demonstrated that the patterns of movement between different types of intermediate care services amounted to a network of care that enhances the original partnership.
There was evidence of integrated service networks in the sites in the form of 'overlap' in patterns of use, indicating that decisions were made on basis of individual need. Six months after discharge, 115 were at home; 23 had died and 15 were in hospital or in long-term residential care. Male patients and those who had received a residential integrated care service were less likely to be at home, while those who were categorised as 'fit' prior to their integrated care episode were more likely to be at home.
- For the service user, good relationships between services on the ground are more important than the partnership arrangements within those services.
- If effort is directed at maintaining and developing relationships between different intermediate care services, the care of service users can be successfully shared.