A view from West Dunbartonshire & Inverclyde

My name is Brian Polding-Clyde, and I’m the Local Integration Lead for West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnerships. I have worked in both areas for over four years and this has offered me the opportunity to work and influence across every sector of health and social care.

As a key Scottish Care partner, I was an invited to the Employee Recognition Awards for a colleague, Wendy Jack (Planning Improvement Manager, HSCP), who received a commendation under the Team Leader of the Year category. Wendy, along with Selina Ross (Chief Executive of CVS West Dunbartonshire), are instrumental members of a strategic partnership that helps to build ever closer links between the statutory, third, and independent care sectors. I was also invited to the Scottish Association of Social Workers (SASW) awards last week, where West Dunbartonshire’s HSCP’s Care at Home Team won the Special Award for ‘Best example of collaboration in an integrated setting’, recognising not only the worth of the team itself, but its impact as part of the wider integrated health and social care provision for adults and older people in area.

Wendy, Selina, and I, hosted a participation event in West Dunbartonshire which brought together Care at Home and statutory providers and commissioners. At the event, Chris McNeil, (Head of Health and Care) provided an overview of West Dunbartonshire’s present demographics and how the future may look. Chris was clear in noting the crucial role of the Independent sector in the ongoing delivery of care to the local population. Selina highlighted the role of the third sector and the ‘Link-Up’ programme, a single call telephone advice line run by well-trained local older volunteers, in helping to support people within their community. Link-Up, in addition to offering advice, also follows up on calls ensuring users are satisfied with the resolution. Lynne McKnight (Integrated Operations Manager for Care at Home) and I then gave a joint and integrated presentation on what we saw as the challenges and opportunities in delivering a Care at Home service. The room agreed that one of the key ways for us to move forward is to share resources and training. To be able to do this effectively will require the development of a Practice and Development Forum co-facilitated by the independent and statutory sectors.

In Inverclyde, we recently made a successful bid to have Care at Home and Housing Support Services become part of the Care Inspectorate’s ‘Care About Physical Activity Programme’. With partners in the third, statutory and independent sector we are developing awareness and interest in the programme, which will allow the Care Inspectorate to recruit fully committed participants.

Also in Inverclyde, we’re close to publishing ‘Come On In’, a resource developed to enhance the experience of visiting a care home. The publication has grown organically from the shared experiences of visiting family and friends, nursing staff, and reflections from Heather Edwards (Care Inspectorate), and myself.

Over the four years I have been working in West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde, it has become apparent that the success of the work we’re involved in is dependent on closer partnership working and a commitment to joint leadership across all sectors. This will give us a better understanding of the complexity of the landscape we work in and the role we can play in enhancing the care of the people for whom we work.

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