GPs have been urged to take a 'central role' in developing integrated care by the Royal College of GPs as it launched a new consultation on this topic.
Integrated care works to ensure that patients are central to the design and delivery of care and that services meet their healthcare needs through apparently seamless, high quality and effective systems.
The RCGP has launched its consultation as it seeks "to ensure services are delivered as efficiently as possible".
Dr Clare Gerada (pictured), RCGP Chair, said: "Over the last few months integration of care has been moving rapidly up the healthcare and political agendas.
"As GPs assume a more central role in commissioning local health services it is important that we play a central role in leading this debate.
"The RCGP has therefore launched a new consultation on what integration means for general practice and for GPs. We would like to get as much feedback on this consultation as possible.
"This is a crucially important issue and responses will go towards developing a policy that could change the way services are delivered for our patients."
The RCGP has been a longstanding champion of integrated care and recently developed the concept of Primary Care Federations, working with other royal colleges to develop models for integrating care across health services.