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WELC integrated care initiative

WELC integrated care initiative

ISL is working on behalf of UCLP with the WELC Integrated Care Programme on the design and delivery of a formative evaluation. The WELC programme aims to transform care for a population of almost one million people in an area facing significant health and social challenges. It is based on a partnership between the 3 boroughs and Clinical Commissioning Groups of Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets, Barts Health NHS Trust, East London Foundation Trust and North East London Foundation Trust. This partnership provides a unique opportunity to leverage existing local integrated care initiatives and deliver them at scale and pace across east London.
The programme is based on a common set of principles agreed by the partners:
• Systematic, regular risk stratification of the whole population to support case finding for those most at risk of hospitalisation
• Care that is centred on an individual’s needs to enable people to live independently and remain socially active
• Care that is evidence based and cost-effective
• Preventing admission to hospital wherever possible by supporting care at home or in the community
• Avoiding duplicated effort in situations where a patient has many people involved in their care
• Actively developing local providers and supporting collaboration in the contracting process
• A commitment to evaluating the work in both formative and summative ways
• A strong commitment to promoting learning between partners, learning from national and international integration programmes and sharing learning outside the programme

Over a 4 year period the WELC partners are investing over £68m into the initiative. Phase one of the work built the case for investment and was completed in early 2013. Phase 2 has now commenced, with governance arrangements being put in place, existing initiatives supported and new work being established. A clear and ambitious set of outcome measures relating to patient outcomes, user experience and service efficiency have been agreed by the partners.

As part of the national pioneer scheme, a national evaluation has been commissioned by the Department of Health from the Policy Innovation Research Unit. To complement this, the executive group of WELC want a more embedded and process oriented local evaluation, which focuses less on whether the programme ‘works’ and more on how to use established research evidence to optimise the effectiveness of the implementation team. This evaluation is being carried out by ISL, and we have recently appointed Laura Eyre as a Researcher-in-Residence.

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