I started work as Local Integration Lead for South Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership last June and on reflection, almost one year on, “it is the best job ever!”.
No two days are the same; even in the course of one day I have the privilege of sitting in strategic planning level meetings getting my head around ‘the big picture’ and then later on, meeting with the unsung heroes delivering the real quality care – person to person, day by day and one conversation at a time, in our local community and often in very challenging circumstances. A recent example of how the various aspects of my job come together is the Community Led Support initiative.
The South Ayrshire Partnership is one of three in Scotland who are working with National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) to innovate the delivery of services using the Community Led Support (CLS) approach. CLS is “designed and driven by practitioners along with local partners and members of the community they are serving…it builds on what is already working, joining up good practice and strengthening common sense, empowerment and trust”.
So as part of this, last Tuesday I participated in ‘Effective Conversations’ Training, which focuses on having a good conversation with people who may need help and support by posing the question “What matters to you?”. Through listening carefully to the response first, we can then identify how the most effective help and support might be delivered.
It was an opportunity to have time to think about what is an effective conversation, and if we were to have one, how might that redefine the care and support which we then deliver.
But the best part for me was the informal discussion and the individual conversations I had, giving me a better understanding & appreciation of each person’s job roles – they represented all sectors of the Partnership, and I reflected afterwards that while we each have a distinct role, it will ultimately be our ability to converse effectively, build relationship and work together in real partnership which will define good quality care that works for the people of South Ayrshire.
Then yesterday, in the discussion at the Partnership’s CLS Steering Group, one of the Community Engagement Officers reported how two Home Care Services staff had come back after a subsequent EC training session requesting further details on “Train the Trainer” opportunities. My heart soared – the Carers who work in our sector respond spontaneously to opportunities to engage in Partnership working and I strongly suspect they are already having ‘effective conversations’ that could transform how we deliver care, and they are waiting for the rest of us to catch up.
Local Integration Lead