Posted by: ayrshirehealth | December 10, 2014

Seize the day by Iona Colvin

Delivered in an integrated way

ParliamentThe Public Bodies (Scotland) Act 2014 was agreed by the Scottish Parliament in April this year. The title is not particularly snappy and it certainly does not reveal the full impact this legislation could have. As most of you will know it will introduce the compulsory integration of health and social care services for adults.

In fact I believe that this legislation represents a huge step forward in public sector reform.

Not only are we now required to plan health and social care services together with the third and independent sector, but the regulations mean we need to deliver these services in an integrated way.

The legislation places those who use services at its heart and we will be assessed on how well we have planned and delivered services which “are seamless from the point of view of those who use them”.

Seizing the opportunity

NA CouncilNHSaaaIn Ayrshire and Arran we have grasped this opportunity, placing our children’s services and criminal justice services within the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and entering our shadow year from April 2014.

We are on track to establish the formal partnership by April/May 2015.

It’s not about a hybrid

Over the past nine months I have had the privilege to get out and about and meet staff, patients, service users and carers who have an interest in the partnership (HSCP).   I have been impressed by the enthusiasm and ideas about what we need to do next and how we should change our services.Network

Iona ColvinI appreciate that for many staff this is a difficult time as we consider service redesign which will have an impact on how we do our jobs. But I know that our staff, who are our biggest resource, are committed to improving patient care and putting them at the heart of what we do.

I think it is important to be clear that integration is not about creating some hybrid nurse, come social worker, come Allied Health Professional.   It is about all of our professions coming to the table to use their expertise, knowledge and skills to consider how we can improve the way we deliver services which “are seamless from the point of view of those who use them”.

Shared values

This is no mean feat in our current period of austerity when the public sector faces huge financial challenges.

Values 2Much is made of the difference in culture between health and social care professions. Whilst they may well be trained in difficult disciplines and with a different focus, I believe that we all share values which puts our patients or service users and their carers at the heart of what we do.

Most people who work in health and social care want to make a difference.

So this is our challenge for the next year, to bring together our collective intelligence and commitment and compassion to contribute to the integration agenda and make a difference. In the next couple of months you will be asked to consider the priorities and proposals outlined in the HSCP strategic plans.

Streamlining pathways

North Ayrshire Community HospitalThese range from proposals to streamline care pathways for older people; developing mental health responses; developing teams around our General Practices and for children around our early years centres and schools and special needs establishments.

I would all our staff and the people of North Ayrshire to get involved in this discussion and join the HSCP management team and governance board in our resolution for 2015, making a difference in Ayrshire and Arran.

This week’s blog is by Iona Colvin, Director, North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

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