Health and Social Care Integration
Chief Officers Spotlight: Iona Colvin
As you know, the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 legislates for compulsory integration of health and social care services for adults. In Ayrshire and Arran we have grasped the opportunity to extend integration, placing our children’s services and criminal justice services within our Health and Social Care Partnerships.
Our Integration Joint Board (IJB) for North Ayrshire met for the first time on April 2, 2015 and approved our Strategic Plan. It has been a privilege to get out and about and meet staff, patients, service users and carers. Listening to their stories and understanding their needs has helped create the building blocks for our Plan. Our Third Sector Interface and Independent Sector colleagues have been heavily involved too. The enthusiasm and ideas about how we should change our services has shaped our Change Programme.
Staff across the sectors are our biggest asset. I think it is important to be clear that integration is not about creating some hybrid nurse, come social worker, come Associated Health Practitioner. 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.
Much is made of the difference in culture between health and social care professions. Whilst they may well be trained in different disciplines and with a different focus, I believe that we all share values which puts those who use our services and their carers at the heart of what we do. People who work in health and social care want to make a difference.
So this is our challenge going forward: to work side by side with those that use services and carers, to bring together our collective intelligence and commitment and compassion to contribute to the integration agenda and make a difference. We have proposals to streamline care pathways for older people, including a named person approach for adults; developing mental health responses and developing community connectors within our General Practices. Over the summer we will be working with colleagues in Education and Police Scotland to develop our Change Programme for children.
There’s plenty to do – maybe I should get on with it!