Scottish Universities Insight Institute : a development from the institute for advanced studies

a development from the institute for advanced studies


Transformative innovation in health and social care

This programme will focus on the kinds of transformative innovation that are needed within services and communities to address pressing concerns about the appropriateness and sustainability of health and social care provision across whole populations. It brings together leading Scottish and international thinkers and practitioners from three key areas of research and practice development: (1) Fifth wave thinking (ideas oriented to deal with the contemporary challenges of public health for which previous major developments in public health are proving insufficient); (2) Person-centred care (a cluster of ideas about both what is humane and morally appropriate in health and social care provision and how people can contribute to their own health and wellbeing); and (3) Transformation (studies of transformative rather than less radical or far-reaching forms of innovation).

With health and social care inflation running at a steady 3 – 4% per year in normal times, coupled with an ageing population and falling or flat budgets, it is increasingly clear not only in Scotland but throughout the developed world that our existing systems for health and social care are fundamentally unsustainable. Innovation may make these systems more efficient, faster, smarter, cheaper and so on, but longer term viability in the future will require a more radical reconfiguration.   

There is a nascent ‘culture of transformative innovation’ in research, policy and practice in this field in Scotland that also commands international attention.  The aim of this proposal is to bring it together, understand what will help and/or hinder its progress, and design and put in place the necessary supports to encourage its growth and spread its insights. This work seeks to identify the systems and organisational characteristics in integrated health and social care within the context of changing patterns of disease that will offer the potential for transformative innovation.

The objectives of the proposed work are:

  • Create the space for creative and productive cross-boundary and inter-disciplinary ‘facilitated dialogue’ to scope out the relevant bodies of work and strands of thinking that can underpin transformative innovation in health and social care and public health;
  • Build a cumulative vision of the relevant organisational and system features of transformation-enabled public services around population health and care;
  • Map a series of actions for key influencers within the system that may help to bring about the conditions for transformation capacities and capabilities;
  • Define the means by which we can develop an assessment of the progress towards building such transformative capacities and capabilities;
  • Create an action-focused research agenda to provide a better evidence base for the underpinnings of transformation through innovation in health and social care and public health.
  • Prompt the emergence of new collaborations that can take forward investigations and actions in support of both research and transformative change.

Supported by a strong commitment particularly from the International Futures Forum, a series of webinars and workshops will enable a sharing of current understandings and perspectives and facilitate fresh, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral conversations oriented both to understand and promote positive transformation both during and beyond the span of the programme. 


  • Programme Team
  • Workshop June 2016

Final Report

Download the Final Report


Seminar 1: 3rd May 2016
Gateway Building, University of St Andrews

Seminar 2: 2-3 June 2016
The Boathouse, Aberdour WORKSHOP SUMMARY

Seminar 3: 24 August 2016
Scottish Universities Insight Institute, Glasgow