See below for useful links to our publications, films and further resources on person centred care.

If you have taken part in a Person Centred Voices talk or workshop with project lead Tommy Whitelaw, or are interested to learn more about implementing person centred practices, ‘What Matters To You?’ and building compassionate workplaces, look at our resources below.

Reports and Publications

Films and Websites

Become an ALLIANCE Member
Over 3,200 individuals and organisations across Scotland have joined the ALLIANCE to ensure their voices are heard.
Becoming an ALLIANCE member can be done in a few simple steps. More information can be found here.

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Through case studies from across Scotland, this new publication evidences culture change towards compassionate, person centred care.

For the last six years, the ALLIANCE’s Person Centred Voices programme (formerly Carer Voices) has been delivering training sessions in partnership with health and social care, third sector, and public sector organisations to encourage person centred practice that is driven by a number of key values and concepts: Value Based Reflective Practice, Intelligent Kindness, ‘What Matters to You’ (WMTY) and Civility Saves Lives. In 2022, the project has now reached over 270,000 individuals across over 1,700 events to share these key messages of compassionate, person centred care to drive improvement in people’s lives.

In order to evidence and evaluate this impact, this ALLIANCE publication, ‘Effecting Change’, captures the work of a number of partners in promoting culture change within their teams and organisations. Each partner organisation has seen the impact of embedding value-based practice and rights within their structures, processes, and service delivery, and each can be viewed as a benchmark for effecting culture change in their particular sectors.

Partners included in this publication are:

  • Social Security Scotland
  • Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Scottish Ambulance Service
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • NHS Lothian
  • Riverbank Day Centre
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospital, Integrated Community Care

In working with each partner, the ALLIANCE has witnessed and been inspired by the impressive outcomes in each organisation. This publication is an opportunity to celebrate this work and share examples of good practice that any organisation can adopt, to foster an environment of kindness and wellbeing for staff, clients, service users, patients, families and carers.

Sara Redmond, the ALLIANCE Chief Officer of Development, said: “The work that Person Centred Voices and National Lead Tommy Whitelaw deliver on, explores the importance of kindness and the power of collective action. Asking people ‘What Matters to You?’ holds the potential to change the conversation and helps us understand people on a deeper level. Throughout this report, there are examples of ways that the work of Person Centred Voices has supported people to think about their skills in person centred care, listening to people and change the narrative from asking ‘what is wrong with you?’ to ‘What Matters to You?’”

Tommy Whitelaw, ALLIANCE Lead for Caring and Outreach, said: “It has been a privilege to work in partnership with NHS, health and social care, third sector, public sector organisations, universities, colleges, and care homes across Scotland to encourage kindness, listening and culture change that learns from the stories and experiences of carers, including my own journey, to place people at the heart.”

Read the full publication via the link below.

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Person Centred Voices works with health and social care and other sectors to encourage culture change on person centred practices.

Person Centred Voices (formerly Carer Voices) is an ALLIANCE project that works to promote person centred practices in public sector organisations; that is, to advocate for personalisation, empowerment and shared decision making across all areas of care and support. Focusing primarily on health and social care delivery and leadership, the project engages with teams to explore the culture change required to implement this approach, and drive improvement in the lives of people and their families.

Watch Project Lead Tommy Whitelaw discuss the work of the project in this short video below:

Led by National Lead Tommy Whitelaw, Person Centred Voices delivers talks and workshops to health and social care professionals and students; public sector leaders and managers; third sector organisations; and government departments across Scotland, to explore what person centred practice might look like across different teams and care settings.

Throughout this engagement, the project promotes the values and principles of ‘What Matters to You?’, ‘Intelligent Kindness’ and ‘Civility Saves Lives’ – movements that identify active listening, kindness, and person centredness as key to providing inclusive support and care to all individuals, as well as healthy work environments.

Person Centred Voices has recently evidenced the impact of this work through its publication ‘Effecting Change’, which captures the work of a number of partners in promoting person centred culture change within their teams and organisations. Each partner organisation has seen the impact of embedding this work within their organisational structures, processes, and service delivery, and each can be viewed as a benchmark for effecting culture change in their particular sectors. Among the benefits, our partners have seen:

  • Improved communication and trust between colleagues, frontline staff and service users;
  • More open and compassionate workplaces where employees can express their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations without fear of judgment;
  • The creation of new ‘What Matters To You?’ initiatives and processes to embed this change into the future.

If you would like to engage with Person Centred Voices, or have a story about implementing person centred practices within your team or service, please get in touch. If you have questions or want to get involved, please email or tweet us @PersonCentredVo.

Person Centred Voices is funded by Scottish Government and works in collaboration with the Chief Nursing Officer’s Directorate and the Person-centred Outcomes, Participation and Sponsorship Unit (POPS).

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What are participating practices doing?

Practices, with the support of the Community Links Practitioner, are developing a business plan that aims to help the entire practice team to adopt a Links approach. This business plan follows a model of improvement and identifies 7 capacities that the practice need in order to be able to work more closely with their local community resources. The 7 capacities are:

1)    Team Wellbeing

A primary care team that’s in survival mode, or feels overwhelmed by demands cannot effectively offer patients support. The business plan must demonstrate how the team plans to support staff wellbeing and create an environment where there is enough time for staff to listen and advise people.

2)    Shared learning

GP practices need to have protected time for shared learning, access to educational resources and the opportunity to share stories.

3)  Awareness

Staff need to be able to identify people who would benefit from information or support, to have a wider understanding of the social context of illness.

4)    Intelligence

Practices need to be able to gather information, to curate that information and have efficient and accessible processes for people to receive this information. ALISS  will play a key role in meeting this need.

5)    Signposting

Practices need to be able to routinely proved information about local support to people.

6)    Problem Solving

Links Practitioners have capacity to work with people to identify and solve problems.

7)    Network building

Primary care teams need to develop an extensive network of personal relationships in their local community.

How will this benefit the practice population?

Along with adopting the Links approach that will benefit the entire practice population, the practices will focus on 5 themes taken from the Self  Management Strategy for Scotland:

  1. Adapting to diagnosis
  2. Living well day to day
  3. Facing challenges and crises
  4. Navigating systems
  5. Dying well

By focusing on these 5 areas, and improving or further developing the practices process in order to support people experiencing these issues, we hope to robustly demonstrate the impact of the approach when compared to the comparison practices. Practices are currently agreeing which aspects to focus on under each of these headings.

The Links Worker Programme

A series of reports by the Deep End have described in detail the impact that living in complex social circumstances can have on people’s health. These reports have been from the perspective of the general practitioners who work in areas of “blanket deprivation”, that is communities where needs are intensively localised and clustered. One of these reports focused on the experience of social prescribing among GP practices in deprived areas. This report described a high proportion of consultations with GPs being driven primarily, or largely by the experience of social adversity, especially poverty and financial problems, as well as experiences of violence, addictions, housing and many other difficulties. The GPs felt that they were often unable to respond effectively to these because of a lack of time and with difficulties in accessing community-led services which they knew would benefit their patients. The GPs strongly identified with the need for a bio-psychosocial model of patient care, and expressed frustration at the barriers that prevented them from supporting patients in this way.

The Links Worker Programme, initially funded by Scottish Government as a pilot, is a Glasgow City HSCP funded programme, funded by Primary Care Improvement Fund . Delivery of the programme by the ALLIANCE is within 31 GP practices across Glasgow.  They are based within Deep End practices (GPs at the Deep End are collaborative of the 100 general practices serving the most socio­economically deprived populations in Scotland) and work with the practice multi-disciplinary team. The programme is guaranteed funding until December 2021.

The programme recognises the pressure that GPs and primary care colleagues are under. It introduces a different skill-set in to the practice team as well as support the existing staff to adopt the Links Approach.

The Community Links Practitioner

Our Community Links Practitioners all have a third sector or community development background and have 3 main responsibilities:

  1. They’re working directly with practice population, particularly with people who are experiencing complex circumstances. They support people to identify goals an enable them to achieve those goals through identifying and enabling access to local community assets. Community Links Practitioners will work with people in the practice, the person’s home, and in the community. They will share the person’s journey for as long as it takes to enable them access to more specific or longer-term support.
  2. They’re working with the entire primary care team, both clinical staff and non-clinical staff in order to enable them to adopt the Links Approach (see below). Links practices, with the support of the Community Links Practitioner, have developed a plan that aims to help the entire practice team to adopt a Links approach. This plan follows a model of improvement and identifies 7 capacities that previous studies have suggested the practice team will require in order to adopt the Links approach.
  3. They’re working with local community resources, supporting them to become more accessible to people accessing them via primary care. This includes making them aware of ALISS and how that helps the primary care team to find them.

The Links Approach

The Links Approach is a primary care team development approach which engages the entire team in developing the capacity to support people to live well in their community through enabling better access to information, knowledge, skills, relationships and resources. The links approach was piloted in the 2011 Deep End Links Project and has been developed by the recent Bridge Project and Improving Links Project.


The rationale for links workers is that if individuals feel supported in their lives, then they are more likely to respond to information on ways to improve their health and to live well. If these people were to be successfully supported sooner rather than later then there is a potential that their risk of developing long term conditions would be reduced or further complications delayed or prevented if have already contracted long term illness(es).

The Academy works on a broad range of projects that address different challenges within health and social care in Scotland.

Some of the current work undertaken by the Academy can be found below, along with links to publications that the team has produced in conjunction with our partners.

Climate action and social care-The Academy in partnership with Scottish Care held a series of roundtable events which explored social care in a changing environment. These events recognised that the social care sector needs to be involved in supporting sustainability efforts as it is both affected by and contributes to climate change. Following each event  Hot Reports were published which captured key learning and insights from the series. A final report ‘Climate Action and the Social Care Collective’ has been published which includes key principles and recommendations.

20-minute neighbourhoods- Throughout 2021 the Academy, in partnership with Disability Equality Scotland and Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland, ran a series of events on ‘Exploring Scotland’s 20-minute neighbourhoods’. Following the series the Academy published a report which shares key findings including the benefits and challenges of a 20-minute neighbourhood through the lens of inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility.

Reducing Stigma, Emphasising Humanity-

The ‘Reducing Stigma, Emphasising Humanity’ involved a series of three events to bring together policy, practice and people with lived experience to explore the societal barriers people face because of stigma. Events have focused on key themes including the links between stigma and trauma, poverty and anti-stigma campaigns through the lens of lived experience.

The Academy has also been exploring what a transformational approach to tackling weight stigma in health and social care might look like. We produced a provocation paper Weight Stigma: the last socially acceptable prejudice? (link will open in a new page) and hosted an event to provide discussion and debate. You can read the Event Report: Weight Stigma (link will open in a new page) 

The Academy is also part of Public Health Scotland’s Weight Bias and Obesity Strategy Short Life Working Group looking at wider messaging and awareness around weight bias and obesity stigma.

Open Dialogue – Open Dialogue is a potentially transformational approach to supporting people experiencing mental distress. The Academy is exploring how this person-centred approach could be beneficial in Scotland and hosted an event to bring interested people together from across Scotland. The Academy has also published a paper on this, Emphasising Humanity: Open Dialogue.

The Academy is involved in the Early Intervention in Psychosis Lived Experience Reference Group which is part of the Early Intervention in Psychosis Improvement Network. The Academy works to ensure that people with lived experience are heard and help shape early intervention services.

Adverse Childhood Experiences  Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are harmful events that negatively impact a child’s mental, physical, or emotional wellbeing and can have a detrimental affect on your health as an adult. Our paper explores the research surrounding adverse childhood experiences, and Scotland’s response to this concept. It examines how ACEs could transform health and social care and identifies some challenges. We have been running screenings of the film Resilience which looks at the effects that toxic stress can have on children’s brains, putting them at risk of ill health and how adverse childhood experiences can be prevented.

Suicide Prevention Strategy The Academy has worked alongside The Samaritans, NHS Scotland to support the Scottish Government and to produce this Suicide Prevention Action Plan Report. 

Budgeting – We have produced three short videos examining more progressive styles of budgeting, in particular human rights budgeting, gender budgeting and participatory budgeting. As part of the Academy’s work exploring the transformative value in ceding power, participatory budgeting has been examined and supported and we published a paper, Ceding Power: Participatory Budgeting. The Academy also published a 2nd edition of our insight paper looking at the emphasising humanity and human rights aspect of basic income ‘Emphasising humanity transforming livelihoods: basic income’. 

If you have any questions about our ongoing projects or would like to work with the Academy, please email or call 0141 404 0231.

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The Five Provocations are areas that have been identified as being important to positive and significant change in health and social care.

The Academy’s work is driven by the Five Provocations, and we aim to embody these in our work. These are intended to focus transformation on key areas where radical change can make a difference to the wellbeing of Scottish people. The Five Provocations are:

  • Courageous leadership – Ambitious, focused and inspiring leadership to transform and develop support and services and create the conditions for everyone to thrive.
  • Nurturing transformation – Transformation requires patience: it takes time to forge relationships, to embed change and to realise long term benefits.
  • Emphasising humanity – We need to emphasise the humanity and human rights of the people accessing and providing support and services, to create relationships that enable people to flourish.
  • Target culture – The meaning of this is two-fold: we need to challenge the target culture in health and social care and we need to foster a cultural shift across society towards more active engagement in health and wellbeing.
  • Ceding power – Statutory bodies need to cede power to the community, individuals and the third sector and embrace cross-sector collaboration.

The Provocations shape the Academy’s future work as we seek to promote them throughout Scotland and develop Insight Papers to model transformational change. They are not easy themes to tackle, but we believe that they will inspire not only transformative thinking, but action too.

The Five Provocations can be seen in action on our Working for change page.

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The Academy works with people who use health and social care services to influence positive and significant change across Scotland.

The transformation of health and social care requires people with lived experience to be at the heart of it.  The Academy works to support people to be involved through sharing their learning, connecting with others and ensuring that as many stakeholders as possible are viewing challenges through the lens of lived experience.

The Academy’s work is driven by the Five Provocations for the Future of Health and Social Care. These are areas that leaders from across Scotland identified as being important elements to create the conditions needed for positive and significant change across health and social care.

The Academy works co-productively with individuals and organisations who are working and supporting transformational change in health and social care.

Details of the Academy’s work can be found on the Working for change page.

We are always keen to explore partnership working and discuss potentially transformational ideas. If you have questions or want to get involved with the Academy, please email via or call 0141 404 0231.

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Connected Communities is a case study series showcasing examples of good practice in integration across health and social care in Scotland.

Connected Communities shares examples of good practice within integration in health and social care across Scotland. The case studies come from the perspectives of those delivering integrated support and services, as well as from those accessing these services.

We are looking for examples of integration and are actively researching the landscape across the country by making contact with voluntary organisations and statutory bodies to identify areas where we can highlight.

We would be keen to gain your input in this project and welcome any suggestions and examples you may have that exemplify integrated ways of working within health and social care.

Examples of integrated ways of working may include themes such as:

  • Collaborative working
  • Fostering authentic relationships
  • Strong and compassionate leadership
  • Innovation and transformation
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Community and lived experience involvement
  • Culture shift(s)
  • Shared decision-making

Connected Communities case studies are published on the ALLIANCE website and shared across social media. They are also shared through our e-bulletins which feed into our wider Integration work to further establish the ALLIANCE as an authority committed to integration. The learning from the case studies will then be drawn out and shared with our stakeholders, which may include the Scottish Government.

Most importantly, Connected Communities will show how integrated services help improve the quality of people’s lives.

The case studies:

  • Identify areas of good practice within integration
  • Showcase the third sector’s role as a key partner in integration
  • Demonstrate the progress of integration
  • Highlight the challenges and barriers to achieving integration

Inspiring and impactful work is taking place throughout Scotland’s communities and we aim to be a driving force in raising awareness of this work.

To participate in Connected Communities, or to suggest great examples that you think we should cover, the integration team can be contacted directly at

To read all Connected Communities, please follow this link.

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Related policy areas including human rights and prevention.

Human Rights

The Scottish Human Rights Commission (this link will take you away from our website) takes a human rights based approach, promoting international human rights standards to ensure that people’s human rights are put at the very centre of policy and practice.

A human rights based approach empowers people to know and claim their rights. It increases the ability of organisations, public bodies and businesses to fulfil their human rights obligations. It also creates solid accountability so people can seek remedies when their rights are violated. The PANEL principles are one way of breaking down what a human rights based approach means in practice.

PANEL stands for:

  • Participation
  • Accountability
  • Non-Discrimination and Equality
  • Empowerment
  • Legality

Cathy Asante Presentation on Human Rights Based Approach (this link will take you away from our website).

Human Rights in Health and Social Care

Human rights can help to bridge the cultural divide between health and social care. Embedding human rights within the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill, and the wider agenda, provides a shared foundation, not owned by ‘health’ or ‘social care’ and focused on people, not structures or systems.

Human rights underpin a range of ideas currently prevalent across health and social care, including: personalisation, person-centredness, recovery, coproduction and self management. All of these involve the person being at the centre and having choice and control over their own lives.

A human rights based approach can help us to deliver the public service reform agenda.

Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights

SNAP – Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (this link will take you away from our website) aims to build a better human rights culture, help improve people’s lives through human rights and contribute to a better world by giving effect to Scotland’s international human rights obligations.

SNAP is the first National Action Plan for human rights in any part of the UK. It is based on experience from other European and Commonwealth countries, as well as guidance from the United Nations and the Council of Europe.


The Christie Commission (this link will take you away from our website) recommended that Public Service Reform prioritised prevention (along with reducing inequality, and promoting equality) to tackle root causes of problems and negative outcomes, and thereby reduce demand in public services, which is essential in a time of reduced public spending and changing demographics.

‘Preventative spend’ in Scottish Government terms is characterised as spending in the current period that is expected to reduce public spending demands in the future by reducing avoidable health and social problems. This definition differs from wider public health definitions of ‘prevention’, where the focus on prevention can be seen to take 3 distinct forms:

  • Primary prevention: Activities designed to reduce the incidence of health problems – involves measures to reduce the risk of health issues arising and to reduce their duration.
  • Secondary prevention: Activities aimed at detecting and treating health problems – this covers almost all of health care activity.
  • Tertiary prevention: Activities aimed at reducing the impact of health problems to ensure people engage fully in educational, family, professional, social and cultural life – this covers almost all of social care activity.