Managed Care Networks
Managed Care Networks extend the principles of clinical networks to health and social care. Managed Clinical Networks focus on the equitable provision of high quality clinical services, by linked groups of primary, secondary and tertiary care health professionals. Managed Clinical Networks tend to be condition-specific, and require robust quality assurance frameworks in order to be effective. It's recognised that the model for these networks has applicability beyond health, extending more widely to a range of care services provided by various agencies for different care groups.
There is scope for Managed Care Networks to improve the patient's pathway of care and promote better use of shared resources. There is a particular benefit to developing effective care networks that support people in their own homes, which is one of the key national outcomes for the Joint Outcomes Team. Working together effectively to provide a better and more appropriate balance of care may help prevent unnecessary admission to hospital and provide early intervention and preventative input to the care process. This will help enable people to manage their conditions more effectively.
To date, the focus on partnership working in developing and implementing MCNs has been variable. The current quality assurance framework is more relevant to NHS services and organisational arrangements than to partnership working. Also, while the term "Managed Care Networks" is in use, there's no formally agreed definition or interagency framework to support development and evaluation. In the context of the increasingly important role of joint working in effectively delivering outcomes for people who use services and their carers, there is an opportunity to further develop and evaluate an interagency managed care network model.