Data-driven, integrated primary and secondary care for children: moving from policy to practice

Despite the best efforts of clinicians, traditional healthcare models often struggle to meet the increasingly complex needs of children and young people under the age of 18 years, as well as 21st century challenges such as obesity and mental health problems. Policy makers and clinical leaders have argued that greater integration of primary and secondary care has the potential to meet the ‘Quadruple aim’ of better population health outcomes, patient and family satisfaction, provider satisfaction and reduced costs. More integrated services and improved data sharing across organisations are key enablers of child health improvement. However, there is sparse literature on how more integrated care for children and young people might work in practice or contribute to achieving these goals. We present the experience of developing a new model for integrated care delivery for children and young people in North West London, based on a common system of clinical records or dashboards across all providers. It includes case studies that illustrate the development of strong relationships and shared learning experiences between primary and secondary care. The article was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.