It is encouraging to read a paper that tackles some of the very real and complex issues at the sharp end of delivering health care – working with clients with multi-morbidities, in challenging contexts and receiving care and support from multiple agencies. Integrated care is high on the list of policy priorities (National Collaboration for Integrated Care and Support, 2013); the authors have helped to shed light on the issues and challenges faced in attempting to deliver on this agenda. The paper adopts the theoretical lens of communities of practice to study an initiative set up to try and reduce alcohol-related hospital attendance. The working group established to address this issue is the focus of the inquiry. Reading between the lines, the authors imply that the working group came to function as a community of practice, fulfilling the criteria identified by various authors (e.g. Lathlean and le May, 2002; Wenger, 1998) such as a common purpose, a sense of belonging and shared practice. How a group that was ostensibly set up as a project group made the transition to a functioning community of practice is less clear and is an area that would be interesting to explore in some more detail (Kislov et al., 2011).
- alcohol-related hospital attendance
- Integrated care