Integrated Care

What is integrated care?

Integrated care is a multi-faceted concept that encompasses a broad set of tools, methods and approaches designed to overcome fragmentation in the organisation and delivery of care. Fragmentation of care arises from high-level specialisation of care providers and the lack of collaborative processes that would allow them to work well together. Fragmentation has an adverse impact on people’s care experiences and care outcomes. This is particularly pertinent to older people with complex care needs, for whom it is necessary to ensure that the right type of care is delivered in the right place and at the right time.

Why is integrated care important?

The lack of coherent service design and care integration, including support and coordination services between formal and informal caregivers, is jeopardising the sustainability of care systems. This contributes to rising inequalities and reduced economic opportunities, especially for women. Many European countries are therefore rolling out person-centred and integrated care services based on pilot projects fostering coordination, case and care management, prevention, re-ablement and related governance and funding.

Integrated care approaches can reduce under- and overprovision of care, inefficient use of financial resources and high pressure on emergency hospitalisation, therefore decreasing the number of users who experience inappropriate care resulting in a lower quality of life.

What we offer:

Learning from good practices and ensuring the sustainability and scale-up of successful approaches is high on the social and health care policy agenda. The European Centre has a long-standing track record of research and development projects in this area. Over the past two decades we have contributed to the conceptual elaboration of integrated care in a number of international projects. In particular, we

  • Provide a conceptual framework to define, assess and improve integrated long-term care systems.
  • Provide advice and technical support for regional and national governments in setting up integrated care pilot projects and reforms.
  • Identify and evaluate good practices and innovative designs in integrated care services delivery.
  • Contribute to the development of international guides and support documents for care practitioners and policy-makers.
  • Discuss and develop integrated care in a wider context of the governance and financing of health and social care services.
  • Promote the concept of integrated care with our network partners across the UNECE region and offer advice to policy-makers at national, regional and local levels.

Project examples

Contact persons

Selma Kadi

Selma Kadi

Kai Leichsenring

Kai Leichsenring