The Coffee Break no 70

News updates this fortnight cover integrated care, innovation, mental health and health and social care. The coffee break is split into sections so you can easily scroll through each area of interest.

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Integrated Care

Firstly this fortnight we look at a case study by the Kings Fund investigating payments and contracting for integrated care. The case study explores how some tax funded countries are moving from financial incentive schemes in favour of partnership arrangements between funders, planners and service providers in order to make the best use of healthcare resources. The case study includes a video of an interview with the General Manager for Funding and Planning at Canterbury District Health Board in New Zealand, who explains their innovative approach to funding.


In an article entitled Prescribing Hope the BMA investigates social prescribing. “The NHS has pledged to create an army of 1000 social prescribers in a bid to help patients lead fitter, healthier lives”. In east London, Sir Sam Everington’s practice has become one of the driving forces for social prescribing with the idea of treating patients ‘holistically’ and preventive interventions to improve health and save money. In an area where a 55 year old has the life expectancy of a 75 year old the practice allows GPS to refer patients to a social prescribing link worker who can then get in touch with any of around 1,500 local community organisations from singing classes to help with housing.

Mental Health

Moving on, NHS England have announced that new and expectant mothers can now access specialist mental health care in the area where they live. “The landmark rollout of specialist perinatal community services across the whole of England, means that mums and mums-to-be who are experiencing anxiety, depression or other forms of mental ill health should be able to access high quality care much closer to home.”

Health and Social Care

This long read by the Kings Fund looks at the definition of population health and what does it actually mean. In recent years the term has broadened to include wellbeing and more recently still the term includes the determinants of health and wellbeing such as town planning or education. What does remain constant is an emphasis on reducing inequalities in health as well as improving health overall. The long read then explores questions such as What is involved in improving population health? How should progress be made on population health? and What needs to happen at a regional level to improve population health?

And finally we have an article by BBC Sport that discusses the benefits of physical activity for children with Special educational needs and disabilities. The benefits of regular physical activity for all children is well known but it is especially important for children with special education needs and physical disabilities who can experience poorer physical health outcomes than other children of the same age. Evidence suggests a relationship between physical activity and improved well-being, the development of problem solving skills, increased concentration and academic achievement among children with special educational needs and disabilities. Inclusive physical activities are also beneficial to children without special educational needs and disabilities such as increased tolerance to individual differences, greater awareness and sensitivity to human diversity and the needs of others.