Libraries are key partners in tackling Scotland’s health inequalities

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubType: News Item Date Published: 5th October 2021

The co-creating libraries project worked in three areas of Scotland to encourage closer partnership working with libraries.

Over the last decade, a range of strategies have been published which all call for self management approaches and closer working across statutory and third sectors to improve health and wellbeing and prevent ill-health.

Empowering people to access the information and support they need to feel better able to live and die well at home is central to self management and health literacy.

For the past two years, the ALLIANCE has been delivering the Co-creating libraries for wellbeing project. As universally accessible community services and hubs of information about health and wellbeing, public libraries can play a key role in delivering this community-focused, person-centred model of support for health and wellbeing.

The project was designed to support service transformation based on the principles of cross-sector collaboration and co-design. It was a partnership between the ALLIANCE, Scottish Library and Information Council (this link will take you away from our website) and the Programme Lead for Knowledge and Decision Support at the Digital Health and Care Institute (this link will take you away from our website). It was delivered in three pilot areas – Midlothian, North Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire with a focus on working together to support young people’s emotional wellbeing.

By developing three pilots to be real world examples of cross-sector working, co-design principles and the library as a key partner in Scotland’s health and wellbeing, the ALLIANCE has been working towards the following transformative strategic outcomes:

• Senior healthcare leaders are more committed to involving library services as partners in service transformation
• Library staff are more involved at strategic and service level to meet local priorities
• Healthcare professionals, library staff and the third sector have a better understanding of each other and how to work together
• Librarians are more integrated into healthcare teams
• Library staff have new skills to support self-management
• Healthcare professionals better understand the role librarians can play in supporting self-management

A demonstrable impact of this project has been the extent to which there has been greater asset-based partnership working between the organisations and agencies involved in the pilot areas and the opportunities this is presenting for further innovations.

You can download the report and the case studies by selecting this link which will take you to another page on our website


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