Bristol Health Partners’ Health Integration Teams (HITs) bring together NHS organisations, universities, local authorities, patients and the public to facilitate the systematic application of evidence to promote integration across healthcare pathways. This study aimed to:
provide empirical evidence documenting the evolution of the model
identify the social and organisational processes and theory of change underlying healthcare knowledge and practice
elucidate the key aspects of the HIT model for future development and translation to other localities
Researchers analysed 140 documents relating to the development of HITs, as well as conducting 10 in-depth interviews with leaders in the Bristol Health Partners organisations, including universities, NHS commissioners and providers, involved in the design and implementation of the HIT model.
The HIT model emerged as a particular response to the perceived need for integration of research and practice to improve public health and healthcare delivery at a time of considerable organisational turmoil and financial constraints. The concept will inform strategies for those involved in setting up similar arrangements in other localities, and researchers in the social and implementation sciences with an interest in their evaluation.