Dr Janet Harris has co-authored a new Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology report on Evaluating the Integration of Health and Social Care. Dr Harris wrote the report alongside Dr Rowena Bermingham from UCL. You can access the full report and acknowledgements at https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PB-0035
Demand for health and social care continues to rise in the UK as people are living longer and a greater proportion have multiple health conditions requiring long-term treatment or care (such as diabetes, heart disease or dementia). Integrating health and social care has been considered as a possible response to these demographic changes, with the potential benefits including improved patient experience, and better quality of care through increased coordination and efficiency. It has been argued that effective integration could result in reduced use of hospital beds, lower hospital admissions rates, shorter hospital stays, shorter recovery periods and lower readmission rates. However, evidence on the impact of integration is mixed, with evaluations variously showing positive, negative and no effects. Cost savings have also been cited as a potential benefit, although reviews have noted that the economic evidence is limited and contradictory.
About Janet Harris
Dr Harris is a Reader in Knowledge Mobilisation and worked as a health care provider in Canada before moving into public health, working as a public health manager and commissioner in the United States for ten years. Dr Harris helped to set up the Department of Health Policy and Public Health at the University of Hull, and moved on to direct the Masters and DPhil programmes in Evidence Based Health Care at Oxford University. In 2007, she went to Norway to establish a new Masters in Evidence Based Practice. Dr Harris then joined the Public Health section in ScHARR in October 2009 to direct the Masters in International Public Health Management and Leadership. Since 2015, she has been working on projects aiming to document the contribution of community-based support to promoting wellbeing and the management of long term and multiple complex needs.