How to use this website

  • Step 1: Think how the Framework applies to your own situation
  • Step 2: Look at sub-themes and identify key issues
  • Step 3: Apply the quality management cycle
  • Step 4: Look at our practice examples
  • Step 5: Share your own examples and resources

Step 1:  Think how the Framework applies to your own situation

The INTERLINKS Framework for Long-term Care comprises six themes and sub-themes. As a first step, you might want to ask yourself how they apply to your situation. Your questions might include:

  • Is our (national or regional) policy addressing these themes? For instance, do legal documents and policy papers address the specific identity of long-term care?
  • Are pathways and processes as well as organisational structures in place that take into account the bottlenecks at the interfaces between health and social care?
  • Are management and leadership mechanisms in place that encourage solutions for linking, networking and integrating health and social care, as well as formal and informal care?
  • Are there means and resources to overcome such bottlenecks?

Step 2:  Look at sub-themes and identify key issues

You will then want to take a look at the sub-themes to think about your questions in a bit more detail. The key issues identified in the sub-themes look at different levels of long-term care provision. Some are about the whole system of care, while others are more concerned about the organisation or the practice level. You will probably need to consider a mix of these key issues when assessing your particular long-term care situation.

Step 3:  Apply the quality management cycle

When you have identified your key issue, you might find it useful to apply the classical quality management cycle PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT for your analysis. Your questions might include:

  • How is this key issue being planned for and how is it being organised?
  • Who is involved and who should be involved across the range of stakeholders, linking health and social care, and formal and informal care?
  • How is the key issue being implemented?
  • Who is taking the lead?
  • What resources do they have or do they need to ensure good working practice across the boundaries of health and social care, and formal and informal care?
  • How is the care provision monitored?
  • Who is responsible for checking the effects and outcomes across the boundaries of health and social care, and formal and informal care?
  • What is in place to ensure that the outcomes are taken forward to make improvements in how future integration between health and social care, and formal and informal care is planned and implemented?

Step 4:  Look at our practice examples

Look at some of our practice examples from your country and other European countries. These examples (listed under each individual key issue) provide detailed descriptions to help you tackle specific key issues and learn from strengths and weaknesses of other peoples’ experiences.

Step 5:  Share your own examples and resources

We are constantly building our database of practice examples, guidelines and tools. See How you can get involved to find out how you can contribute to the INTERLINKS resource.