Innovation at the heart

Legislation to implement Health and Social Care Integration came into force on 1 April this year. This brought NHS and local council care services together under one partnership arrangement for each area. In total, 31 Health and Social Care partnerships (HSCP’s) have been set up across Scotland.

At its heart, Integration aims to ensure that those who use services get the right care and support whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey. This brings a greater emphasis on enabling people to stay in their homes, or another homely setting, where possible, sharing their lives with their family and friends, doing the things that give life meaning and value.

The independent sector, being the biggest provider of social care in Scotland has a significant role to play in this programme. Though the largest provider of health and social care, our sector is not always associated with service excellence or seen as a true and valuable partner.

In order to change this I have recently set up The Learning and Innovation Group within Scottish Care. This will take the lead on sharing good practice, promoting the range of services provided by our sector and to support learning, improvement and innovation. I am joined by seven Local Integration Leads, all of whom are directly involved in innovative tests of change in their areas, by Becca Gatherum and by Jamie McGeechan. Jamie is our newly appointed Communications and Events Officer.

Those of us close to the sector see, on a daily basis, the commitment of our workforce, the high levels of skills and expertise within our teams, innovative practice, strong leadership and an absolute commitment to service excellence. This is a sector I am very proud to be part of.

The Learning and Innovation Group met for the second time yesterday and as anticipated, there was a really positive energy in the room. Given the significant challenges facing our sector just now, it was heartening to focus on the success stories and to remind ourselves why we do what we do.

Over the coming months we will share the learning from tests of change and innovative approaches to the delivery of health and social care. A variety of platforms and approaches will be used in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. These will include digital stories, publications and reports, presenting at conferences and events, videos, formal research, the development of a resource library and social media.  Jamie’s skills in communication will be evident to all! We plan to develop a section dedicated to innovation on the Scottish care website which will hopefully become a first stop for those interested in developing services. Whether looking at small tests of change, a major development or have an experience to share, we are interested in hearing from you.

I have many hopes in life, one being that the independent sector will get the respect and response that we deserve from our partners, the media and the public. We all have a role to play in this, I hope that my part in sharing the good news will help towards this.

 

Margaret McKeith

13 July 2016

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