A lack of coordination across health and social care services is leading to worse outcomes for patients, according to a report the Health Foundation, a charity that campaigns for better health and healthcare in the UK.
The charity has written a report, titled Under Pressure, that analyses the findings of an international survey by Commonwealth Fund of primary care doctors and concludes that the UK is one of the worst developed nations for coordination across health and care providers.
Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Doctors reveals that 79% of UK GPs report one of their patients has experienced a problem in the previous month because care wasn’t well coordinated across multiple sites or care providers. This compares to an average of 48% across the other countries featured in the survey.
Of the 11 countries taking part in the survey, GPs in the UK report far greater challenges when coordinating care with social services or other community providers, with 70% of GPs finding it somewhat or very difficult – the highest of any country.
These findings have led the health charity to conclude that the quality of patient care is likely to be suffering as a result of poor communication and coordination between different parts of the health and care system.
Commenting on the findings, Edward Davies, Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said: “Action needs to be taken to ensure patients consistently receive high quality care and don’t become entangled in the complicated web connecting different parts of the health and care system in the UK.
“GPs are reporting challenges coordinating care for their patients with different parts of the system, especially social services and community providers. UK GPs report the highest number of patients experiencing problems as a result of poor coordination of care. This complex array of relationships between different parts of the health and care system and how they are coordinated needs to be better understood to safeguard the quality of patient care.”