Sharon Blackburn CBE, is a long-term partner of Scottish Care in our work. In 2015-16 she was awarded a Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship which was sponsored by Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by her employer , a sister organisation of Scottish Care, the National Care Forum. As part of the scholarship she completed a project on the subject of integration with the sole aim of contributing to the step change that needs to take place for people using services…that’s you and me…not just ‘them’.
Her work included interviews with key players in Scotland. She has now developed an animation to support staff wherever they work to consider ‘how to be the change they want to see’. The animation has been informed by people who use services; their families and so many people who afforded her time across the devolved administrations in the UK to share that which was good and more often that which needed to change. The animation can be accessed at
“Integration has been a theme; an aspiration that has travelled with me during my career to date. During that time, in England much progress has been made in delivering person centred outcomes for people using services but we are not there yet. This looks and feels so different depending where the person is in the system. The language that is used is also confusing. The words may be the same but different meanings are attributed.
People who use services do not understand the differences and nuances until it personally impacts upon them or their loved ones. They expect people to share relevant and pertinent information about them; they do not expect each professional to carry out duplicate assessments.
All staff working across health; social care and housing systems need to work together to achieve the best outcomes for people, irrespective of the constraints that can sometimes conspire to work against what they would like to achieve, such as existing policy; cultures of organisations; legislation…the list could go on.
Achieving it will depend on each person in the various systems playing their part. It will require a shift in how nurses; care and all staff across Health; Care and Housing Systems think and behave, this means you and me!.
Ask yourself “do you know what you don’t know…what will you do to rectify this”…”how can you and will you be the change you wish to see?””