Chip at the old block

The Health Service Journal today reports that, “National organisations including the Department of Health, NHS Commissioning Board and sector regulators are drawing up a joint statement of purpose to set how they will make integrated care a reality.”

Apparently this statement of purpose is to take the form of a ‘common purpose framework’ and is scheduled to be published in May this year.

HSJ further reports that the Care Quality Commission, Monitor, the Local Government Association and the National Trust Development Authority are also lining up to add their signatures to said framework.

No mention of Clinical Commissioning Groups; which is interesting because I was rather of a view that it was CCGs who would bear the responsibility of making integrated care a reality. I thought that this was what commissioning and service transformation was all about? Indeed it is my understanding that there is a statutory duty on CCGs to consider the integration of health related services.

Driving to work this morning I was listening to ‘Start the Week’ on Radio 4. One of the learned guests recounted the following story about the sculptor Jacob Epstein. When asked how he made his bust of Ernest Bevin1 look so much like the former Foreign Secretary, the sculptor said… “that it was simple. I took a big block of stone and chipped away all the bits that didn’t look like Bevin.”

So I decided to pen my own ‘common purpose framework’ for integrated care. It goes something like this…

When re-designing services around integrated care; jettison all the bits that don’t look like integrated care.

It’s a start … and it’s still only January.


1 Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 27th July 1945 – 9th March 1951

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