Housing, Health and Care - the Integration Agenda

There was a time when housing, health and social care organisations could each focus on their own core sectors and get on with their business. Not anymore. Integration, collaboration and joint venturing are not only increasingly important but are necessary as commissioners look to carry out their joint strategic needs assessments and implement their joint health and wellbeing strategies. If housing providers do not overcome the problem of silo working or lack innovation in a rapidly changing legislative and financial context then their ability to expand and develop their business will be significantly curtailed.

The NHS Act 2006 as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires health commissioners to not only secure that health services are provided in an integrated way but also that health services are integrated with the provision of health-related services and social care services where this would improve the quality of health services, including outcomes, and reduce inequalities. Clearly the whole issue of housing, as one of those key aspects of the wider determinants of health, is crucial to the question of health outcomes and reducing inequalities and so housing providers need to engage with health and social care commissioners about their goals, objectives, assessments and plans.