Purpose: This paper investigates the perceptions of key informants on a national support programme for the development of New Care Models in England (2015/16 to 2017/18). It focuses on the perceived facilitators and barriers affecting the development and implementation of the New Care Models programme and offers some insight into the role of national level support in enabling local integration initiatives.
Design/methodology/approach: A set of 29 interviews were carried out with a variety of respondents at the national level (including current and past programme leads, strategic account managers, advisors to the programme and external regulators) between October 2017 and March 2018, and analysed thematically.
Findings: A set of facilitative elements of the programme were identified: the development of relationships and alliances, strong local and national leadership, the availability of expert knowledge and skills, and additional funding. Challenges to success included perceived expectations from the national Vanguard programme, oversight and performance monitoring, engagement with regulators, data availability and quality, as well as timetables and timescales. Crucially, the facilitators and challenges were found to interact in dynamic and complex ways, which resulted in significant tensions and ambiguities within the support programme.
Originality/value: The paper demonstrates that analysis of facilitators and challenges with respect to the national support of implementation of integrated care initiatives should move beyond the focus on separate influencing factors and address the tensions that the complex interplay among these factors create.