Our Integration Support Team review activities over 2018 for our annual report.
2017/18 was a busy year for the Integration Support Team (IST), which saw a number of changes in our staff compliment as we continued to support third sector organisations grapple with the challenges and opportunities of health and social care integration through a combination of workshops, knowledge exchange and bespoke support. This included hosting forums across Scotland; providing Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) and the wider sector with safe spaces to share experience and learning on health and social care integration.
The team also worked with TSIs to develop their representative role for the wider third sector on the integration bodies and facilitated the sharing of best practice via our ‘Engage and Inspire’ newsletter and the ALLIANCE website. The teams reach extended beyond Scotland during 2018 by contributing to presentations on Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland, as well as a poster presentation on ‘New Ways of Working’ with AHP colleagues at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Amsterdam.
During the year we have worked with the ALLIANCE Digital Coordinator to develop new and innovative ways to share practice via VLOGs (this link will take you away from our website), case studies and social media (this link will take you away from our website). A key development has been in the adoption of ‘Zoom’ videoconferencing software as a means of improving access to and reaching out to third sector colleagues in more remote areas.
Reflecting on the changing face of integration four years on from the publication of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, and two years since integration bodies were formally launched, the team took the opportunity to review our workplan informed by a group of stakeholders, including representatives from Third Sector Interfaces (TSI), Health and Social Care Partnerships, the Scottish Government and the wider Third Sector.
The outcome of this process is a flexible and responsive plan which aims to meet the demands stakeholders face in the course of the next two years in delivering the integration agenda in an evolving integration landscape. As part of this process we have also updated the information available on our webpages, simplifying navigation and providing key information from the legislative background to current implementation.
Our work as part of the Third Sector Health and Social Care Collaborative has seen the team work ever more closely with other third sector intermediaries to influence progress on integration at strategic level. This included contributing to a paper on the experience of third sector engagement with the health and social care integration agenda, which was requested by and presented to the Ministerial Strategic Group (MSG) for Health and Community Care in March 2018. The report painted a varied picture across Scotland and made several recommendations for improving Third Sector involvement. These recommendations are now being considered as part of a wider MSG review which hopes to report in January 2019. The IST Director is representing the Collaborative on the Review Reference Group.