My job lets me meet amazing people who do outstanding work to help others

My name is Heather and I’m the Local Integration Lead for the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. My role is one I find both rewarding and challenging and it has given me the chance to meet some truly amazing people who do outstanding work to help others in their communities.

The partnership works very well in the North and I believe that myself and colleagues in the NHS, the council, third and independent sectors have a great understanding of integration and a commitment to partnership working. A major part of my work this year has revolved around the New Models of Care work, specifically focusing on the work stream and older adults with complex needs, which is being led by the North Partnership on a pan-Ayrshire basis. The providers have been offered various opportunities to be involved and their input has been well received by our partners.

Last week, the Ayrshire Branch of Scottish Care organised an extremely successful engagement event with providers from across the  three Ayrshire branches.  Our Chief Executive, Donald Macaskill,  set the context of this changing landscape and offered providers the chance to start thinking about what support might look like in the future, given the varied local demographics and workforce challenges.  At the event, we also introduced the providers to “simulation modelling”: a programme designed to take a whole-system approach and test out scenarios and changes within the system to see what impact they would have on other parts of the system. This will help to inform the direction of travel and what savings may be made to reinvest in providing care within community settings.

One of the main outcomes for me is to help our partners and the wider community understand the commitment of staff and the amazing person-centred support care homes are providing for their residents. I was therefore really pleased to be invited to sit on the planning committee for the Partnership Staff Awards to recognise the great work of all our partners. We have just completed our shortlist and I’m delighted that the sector nominated their staff for going beyond our expectations within their roles.

The landscape of health and social care in Scotland is changing. Independent providers are a crucial part of this  new landscape, which we hope will contribute to transformational change. Exciting times are ahead!

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