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Research project

Integrating health and social care: A mixed methods study in primary care

Project overview

People are living longer lives and are more likely to develop multiple health conditions at the same time (multimorbidity). This requires medical support through GP services (primary care), alongside social support such as attention to personal needs, help with transportation or mobility and assistance with finances or housing. As services are limited and under extreme pressure, joining up or integrating primary care and social services could be helpful in increasing efficiency, reducing costs and improving experiences for patients and their families.

The aim of our study is to understand existing services and previous research to learn about what might be helpful or unhelpful in the progress towards more joined-up social services and primary care for older people living with multiple health conditions in the UK.

We will search for all previously published or unpublished work on this subject. We will bring information together, summarise it and use this as a starting point to understand primary care and social services. We will then conduct interviews with people organising, delivering and using primary care or social services, such as doctors, nurses, social care staff, patients, carers and managers who are organising these services. We will ask them for their views on integrated care, whether existing efforts are working and what might be helpful or unhelpful in delivering more joined-up care.

By understanding the existing integration between primary care and social services alongside a range of views from people who use, deliver and develop these services, we can identify gaps in care and how to address them. This will help improve services through more joined-up care for older people living with multiple health conditions.

This study is being conducted by the Primary Care Research Centre.


Lead researcher

Dr Hajira Dambha-Miller MRCGP,PhD,FHEA

Associate Professor in Primary Care Res
Other researchers

Professor Paul Little

Professor in Primary Care Research

Professor Hazel Everitt

Professor of Primary Care Research

Research interests

  • Supporting Self-management 
  • Healthcare communication
  • Development of digital interventions

Professor Miriam Santer

Professor of Primary Care Research

Research interests

  • Self-management of long-term conditions
  • Primary Care Dermatology - particularly eczema, acne and cellulitis
  • Mixed methods research including development and evaluation of complex interventions



Research interests

  • Healthcare public health
  • Kidney disease
  • Multimorbidity

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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