This programme brought together a range of stakeholders to address the integration of adult health/social care services, with the overarching objective of improving service delivery.
In line with Christie Commission, integration aims to facilitate adults receiving the care they need at the right time and in the right setting, with a focus on community-based/preventative care. Much work has been undertaken on structural integration in Scotland. However, other challenges are urgent; for example different professional groupings, organisations and sectors working together, and the appropriate technology to support integration. Moreover, whilst it is assumed that service integration will automatically bring improvements, there are notable counter trends such as the Republic of Ireland disaggregating social care from health.
The purpose of this programme was to explore and learn from other countries and experiences around four themes:
- What are the most effective change processes through which to achieve integration?
- What is known about the cultural dimensions of integration across professional, organisational and sectoral boundaries – and with service users?
- How can digital/smart technology best support integration?
- How might academics work best with practice agencies to support the change/innovation that will be required?