Together we are a collective force for health and wellbeing

Written by: Sara Redmond, Assistant Director, the ALLIANCE

Published: 28/11/2019

Libraries, Health and Social Care and the ALLIANCE working together to celebrate the power of knowledge

The role of Scotland’s public libraries and third sector are woven through our national policy drivers, with increasing recognition being given to the strong infrastructure of support and connectedness they provide for people and communities.

This is particularly the case in the refreshed public health agenda, which recognises that the places where we live, work and play, the connections we have with each other, as well as the extent to which we feel we have influence over the decisions that affect us, all have an impact on our health and wellbeing.

There seems to be a real shift taking place in the way we deliver, support and promote health and well-being in Scotland. The language and ambition of Scotland’s National Performance Framework describes the kind of country that we want to create, and that it will take a whole society approach to delivering on it.

With all this change taking place it can be easy to forget that the building blocks of our society are people and our communities. Across Scotland our third sector and public libraries are offering a diverse range of support and life changing opportunities, helping people in their journey of self management and addressing social isolation.

We must continue to commit to delivering upon the partnership pillar of public service reform set out by the Christie Commission – for greater ‘place-based’ collaboration and integration between public service agencies and their partners.

On our part, the ALLIANCE has been working over the past few years to ensure cross-sector partnership working is core to our work in supporting self management and the integration of health and social care. Most recently, we have been working with the Scottish Library and Information Council together with the Scottish Government to develop the first collaborative strategic action plan of its kind. ‘A Collective Force for Health and Wellbeing’ (this link will take you away from our website) sets out a national commitment to working together across libraries in all sectors, health and social care, and the third sector, to help transform Scotland’s approach to health and wellbeing.

The action plan outlines a number of actions to celebrate and share the many examples of good practice and innovation across Scotland and to help scale this up to national level.  We hope this will be a catalyst to building partnerships and collaborative developments locally. This new relationship will enable us to create innovative partnerships in the way people access, use and share knowledge, information, support and services.

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