An analysis by technology and consultancy firm IG&H, based on the conclusion pages of all 35 regional images from the care office regions, shows that labour market issues and the increasing demand for care around the elderly frequently feature in the regional images. At the same time, themes such as the task of sustainability remain underexposed. Also, the use of technological innovations is only cautiously mentioned as a solution, while this is one of the key issues within the working agenda of the Integral Care Agreement (IZA). IG&H conducted this analysis to gain insight into the challenges written down, points of interest mentioned and forms of cooperation in the regions.
Issues around sustainability and cross-domain cooperation underexposed
The region picture was prepared to outline the actual situation in the region and provides insight into the difference between the (expected) care and support demand and the (expected) care and support supply. The conclusions of these images show that care organisations and municipalities predominantly experience the same bottlenecks, regardless of the region. The bottlenecks most frequently mentioned by far in the region images are labour market stress (35 times), pressure on care demand around the elderly (32 times) and problems related to mental health (26 times). This corresponds to the trigger for the national Integrated Care Agreement. The reason for the IZA also mentions cooperation that is still insufficiently domain-specific and the task of sustainability. Strikingly, issues around these themes are only mentioned to a limited extent as one of the main conclusions of the regional images.
11 themes identified from the conclusion pages of all the regional images
Large overlap in intended next steps, fragmentation lurks
Regions will set to work in the next six months to draw up the regional plans, which will describe how bottlenecks will be tackled in the coming years. Many region pictures already provide examples of these plans, with IG&H's analysis showing that there is also a lot of overlap in them. They include, for instance, prevention approaches, approaches around labour market issues and improving mutual cooperation. It is crucial to recognise this overlap between regions and to learn from the successful transformations that are already under way. Regions need to move from a 'not invented here' attitude to a 'proudly inspired by' mentality. Moreover, it is important that regions can use cross-regional integrated solutions that can work everywhere.
Bas Leerink, managing director at IG&H: "It is striking that the Sustainability use of technological applications and the deployment of digital data availability have remained underexposed in many regional images, although this is one of the core pillars within the IZA working agenda." In addition, Leerink finds it remarkable that there is still little discussion of, for example, reducing administrative burdens and reducing the burden on climate, environment and living environment. This while these themes are included as ambitions in the IZA's introduction.
IZA and the region pictures form basis for intensified cooperation
That the conclusions in the region pictures differ only slightly raises the question of whether it was useful to elaborate this in 35 places. However, this actual regional picture did lead to the start of cooperation in many places. While some regions have been working on cross-domain cooperation for years, for instance in professional foundations, others have only started initial discussions since the kick-off of the IZA. Obviously, the level of maturity will affect the quality and realisation of intended transformations. But what is positive is that in all regions, the IZA, with the drawing up of the regional picture as a first step, has led to a felt urgency to strengthen and professionalise partnerships.
Impactful care transformations require a broad and ambitious view
Meanwhile, all regions are in the process of drafting region plans. As the first examples of plans described in the region pictures seem to be somewhat tentative in nature, the question is whether this approach will actually lead to far-reaching changes in care. "Of great importance is that regions start working quickly and energetically" says Bas Leerink. "Start the obvious, impactful transformations as soon as possible. In addition, ensure that the region plan can be used immediately to start the transformations."