The SHAPES policy guidelines aim at supporting pan-European management and delivery of integrated health and social care services in a care continuum anchored in a human rights-based approach.


To contribute to sustainable health and social care systems across Europe and to achieve truly integrated person-centred care, policies must improve the continuity of care across the entire spectrum and reduce barriers to integrate services.

The following recommendations for integrated person-centred health and social care are based on a human rights-based approach, thus grounded on human rights that are universal, inalienable, and indivisible and that European Member States have an obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil.


  • Enhance collaboration as well as coordination and communication mechanisms at EU, national, regional, and local levels across different sectors to notably enable innovation and resilience.
  • Frame a comprehensive agenda and a holistic approach to implement goals, including the uptake of digital technologies in the care sector and the requested synergies across disciplines, bodies and services.
  • Adopt a person-centred perspective.

Legislation, Ethics, and Standards

  • Implement a human rights-based approach in EU laws regulations and standards. This means to work on people’s needs through the lenses of their rights and to empower them.
  • Address gaps and challenges in the application of regulations that are relevant for digital technologies. An independent European authority could support the interpretation of existing regulations and the promotion of quality standards.


  • Provide adequate and sustainable funding and investments, including for technology, with a focus on preventive care delivered in community settings.
  • Monitor costs to optimise the use of funds and their allocation.

Information, Monitoring and Reviewing

  • Set up quantitative and qualitative measures and monitoring plans for integrated care policy goals and implementation.
  • Provide clear and transparent information about data use, data protection and data treatment for citizens to be informed about data and about the available services and policies.
  • Conduct regular surveys/polls on the health and social conditions of populations, and their key parameters to anticipate future health and social care needs.


  • Provide adequate resources for workers in the health and social care sector, including their capacity (continuous professional development, work in an increasingly digital environment) and mental health, paying attention also to employees’ wider conditions (e.g., childcare provisions; transportation provision; pension provisions).
  • Develop multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary aspects of integrated care, fostering teamwork between several stakeholders.
  • Promote cooperation and knowledge exchange in the field of person-centred integrated care at the European level to facilitate networking, skills and knowledge sharing between health and social care professionals, researchers, policymakers and end-user representatives.

Innovation and Research

  • Collect and analyse age-segregated data without an upper age limit to better understand factors that impact on wellbeing.
  • Fund research to bridge the knowledge gaps that exist in the domain of health and social care and their potential impact. It will help to effectively prioritise future funding and efforts.
  • Increase collaboration between research institutions, technology companies and care practitioners to drive innovation.

Download Policy Guidelines

For more detailed information, you can download the full SHAPES Policy Guidelines document.