Health and Social Care

Leaders unite to drive Mega Reform of Health and Social Care

April 21, 2015 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

Health and Social Care Integration took another step forward as all 32 local Health Board and Local Authority partnerships finalised their plans to bring together the two services. Ahead of the April 1, 2015 milestone for submitting Integration Schemes, 180 health and social care leaders met in Edinburgh on 30 March at the Leading Integration for Better Outcomes Event for a fruitful day of discussion, networking and reflection on the theme of leadership.

Director General for Communities and Chair for the conference, Sarah Davidson, kicked off proceedings with the first of several short films that demonstrated how experiences from the frontline can help leaders to shape and drive forward innovation.

Opening the conference, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, reminded senior leaders at the helm of health and social care services that they have an unrivalled public service responsibility today. Their work in driving the agenda forward will contribute to a “mega reform” of health and social care. Following Mr Swinney’s address, Councillor Peter Johnston, COSLA Health and Wellbeing spokesperson, called for a “permanent revolution” of public services.

Lesley McLay (Chief Executive, NHS Tayside), Bernadette Malone (Chief Executive, Perth and Kinross Council) and Iona Colvin (Chief Officer, North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership) gave unique partnership perspectives on the opportunities and challenges initiated by integration. As experts in driving strategic change, a consistent message throughout their presentations was the need to focus on the person using services.

The Community Empowerment Bill making its way through Scottish Parliament will help to establish the conditions from which the seeds of integration can flourish in the coming years. Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, Marco Biagi, described how that Bill will create new duties on named public authorities, including Integration Joint Boards, now listed as statutory community planning partners.

Closing a packed morning session, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, Sir Peter Housden, shared his experience of working with senior leaders through an insightful question and answer session with Sarah Davidson. Exploring the key to successful leadership, Sir Peter suggests that we are guilty of underestimating our role as leaders. Now is the time to reassess, nurture and embrace the leadership qualities we are born with.

During the afternoon session, Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, described integration as a significant opportunity to shape our health and social care services for the better. Reflecting on her life as a Home Care Organiser, Ms Robison talked about the need to bring together services and people to improve the whole pathway of care and said “I want every partnership to be bold and ambitious and ask the question – why not at home?”.

A series of afternoon workshops exploring specific areas of Social Work, Primary Care and Clinical Leadership, as well as the Third, Voluntary and Independent Sectors, gave rise to some interesting reflections. For example, the importance of recognising shared values when bringing Health Boards and Local Authorities together was discussed. A brief summary of the four workshops can be accessed on this page.

Geoff Huggins, Acting Director for Health and Social Care Integration at the Scottish Government, summed up the event by reflecting on the ambition and determination expressed over the course of the day to make integration work. He closed by emphasising that the era of telling people what to do is long gone – we are in a new era of listening to people and working together.

A range of digital stories showcasing the ‘lived experience’ are available to stream via the HSCI YouTube channel, alongside a number of other video recordings from the event.

See the key highlights from the day in the event newsletter and view all the event resources on the HSCI pages on the Scottish Government website.

For more information about the event contact the Communications Team at

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