Integrated healthcare has come to mean a variety of things in recent years, including horizontal and vertical integration within the NHS, integration between health and social care, and integration between conventional and non-conventional medicine.
However, all of these definitions involve the basic principle of developing clear and seamless care pathways to engage and empower patients, and bring about more effective patient outcomes.
Complementary and natural therapies are used by millions of people every year, sometimes to maintain their own health and sometimes because they feel disengaged from conventional healthcare, especially those suffering from chronic or long term conditions, or those with multiple conditions. These patients and service users are often difficult to treat using conventional treatment options alone. It is in these areas where patients often seek support from non-mainstream health providers and support schemes to either treat or manage their conditions, or to help them access the kind of support suited to their needs.
Integrated, natural and complementary health treatment methods are holistic in nature and treat the person, not the condition, and are often successful when people have tried everything else.