Integrated community care (ICC) engages people and communities as co-producers of care. It implies a shift in traditional thinking based on problem-based, disease-oriented care to a goal-based, person-centred care aiming at enhancing the quality of life of vulnerable individuals and improving population health amongst communities.
This entails the development of new forms of collaborations across diverse contexts and settings. A key to such collaborations is the role of people in the community and in how service users (individuals, carer and families) become engaged and empowered as an integral part of integrated community care delivery.
The Transnational Forum on Integrated Community Care (TransForm) is a joint initiative of Foundations in and beyond Europe that aims to put the community at the centre of primary care and integrated care. It seeks to combine strengths-based and needs-based approaches to enabling communities to develop their own models of caring for their people.
The first conference “Making the case for Integrated Community Care”, grounded in both evidence and practical experience, made the compelling case for investment in integrated community care as a policy priority to support effective, high-quality and sustainable care. The conference took place in Hamburg, Germany, on 24-25-26 September 2018.
The conference “Towards people-driven care: engaging and empowering individuals, carers and families through integrated community care” focused on examining the essential elements related to engaging and empowering people in the management of their own health and welfare in the context of where they live. This includes a focus on aspects that help people understand their talents and needs (e.g. health and care literacy, self-care, and access to health records).
The third conference “Building stronger communities through integrated community care” focused on how to engage communities as pro-active co-producers of their health and how care systems can support an assets-based approach to community development. Specifically, the conference examined how to enable the participation and engagement of communities in decision-making, including an examination of responding to different cultural contexts and the building of social capital.
Building on the outcomes of the Vancouver Conference, the TransForm partnership decided to consolidate the insights on ICC so far in a 2-days expert workshop in Brussels. To make ICC really self-evident, to make it the new standard of care, we needed to make ICC's overarching ambition tangible, communicable and explainable. Reflecting on the purpose and ambition of ICC was about designing the narrative for evolving from the now (‘as is’) towards the aspirational future (state) (‘to be’). From the fuzziness of ICC with which the journey began in Hamburg, to "ICC 4all" as a powerful, inspiring and widely endorsed statement or ‘rallying cry’.
Blog author: Prof. em. Jan De Maeseneer, MD, Ph.D. Head WHOCC on Family Medicine and Primary Health Care – Ghent University (Belgium)
Blog author: Luc Deliens - Ghent University and Free University Brussels (VUB)
Blog author: Tinne Vandensande, King Baudouin Foundation
Blog author: Anna Coote, Principal Fellow, New Economics Foundation