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Care coordination as imagined, care coordination as done: findings from a cross-national mental health systems study

Hannigan, Ben ORCID:, Simpson, Alan, Coffey, Michael, Barlow, Sally and Jones, Aled ORCID: 2018. Care coordination as imagined, care coordination as done: findings from a cross-national mental health systems study. International Journal of Integrated Care 18 (3) , 12. 10.5334/ijic.3978

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Introduction Care coordination is intended to ensure needs are met and integrated services are provided. Formalised processes for the coordination of mental health care arrived in the UK with the introduction of the care programme approach in the early 1990s. Since then the care coordinator role has become a central one within mental health systems. Theory and methods This paper contrasts care coordination as work that is imagined with care coordination as work that is done. This is achieved via a critical review of policy followed by a qualitative analysis of interviews, focusing on day-to-day work, conducted with 28 care coordinators employed in four NHS organisations in England and two in Wales. Findings Care coordination is imagined as a vehicle for the provision of collaborative, recovery-focused, care. Those who practise care coordination are concerned with the quality of their relationships with service users and the tailoring of services, but limits exist to collaboration and open discussion. Care coordinators describe doing necessary work connecting people and the system of care. However, this work also brings significant administrative demands, is subject to performance management which distorts its primary purpose, and in a context of scarce resources promotes generic professional roles. Conclusion Care coordination must be done. However, it is not consistently being done in the way policymakers imagine, and in the real world of work can be done differently.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
ISSN: 1568-4156
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 15 August 2018
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 14:18

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