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Community Hospitals in Selected High Income Countries: A Scoping Review of Approaches and Models.

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Winpenny, Eleanor M  ORCID logo
Corbett, Jennie 
Miani, Celine 
King, Sarah 
Pitchforth, Emma 


BACKGROUND: There is no single definition of a community hospital in the UK, despite its long history. We sought to understand the nature and scope of service provision in community hospitals, within the UK and other high-income countries. METHODS: We undertook a scoping review of literature on community hospitals published from 2005 to 2014. Data were extracted on features of the hospital model and the services provided, with results presented as a narrative synthesis. RESULTS: 75 studies were included from ten countries. Community hospitals provide a wide range of services, with wide diversity of provision appearing to reflect local needs. Community hospitals are staffed by a mixture of general practitioners (GPs), nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare assistants. We found many examples of collaborative working arrangements between community hospitals and other health care organisations, including colocation of services, shared workforce with primary care and close collaboration with acute specialists. CONCLUSIONS: Community hospitals are able to provide a diverse range of services, responding to geographical and health system contexts. Their collaborative nature may be particularly important in the design of future models of care delivery, where emphasis is placed on integration of care with a key focus on patient-centred care.



community hospital, cottage hospital, health systems, integration, primary care, primary/secondary care interface, service delivery models

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Int J Integr Care

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Ubiquity Press, Ltd.
This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research programme (project number 12/177/14).