Des McCart from Healthcare Improvement Scotland reflects on what lessons have been learnt so far on the Community Led Support programme in Scotland
“Integration authorities need to shift resources, including the workforce, towards a more preventative and community-based approach. Even more importantly, they must show that this is making a positive impact on service users and improving outcomes.” (Health and Social Care Integration, Audit Scotland. 2015)
Indeed, this fits with the narrative in Scotland on the Scottish Approach (..to policy making, and more recently, in relation to evidence) which “seeks to put citizens and community interests at the heart of public policy” (The Scottish Approach to Evidence, Carnegie UK & Alliance for Useful Evidence. 2017).
Between the times of both these reports, three Integrated Authorities have engaged with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTI) to see how Community-led Support delivers in relation to placing Health and Social Care at the heart of communities. Both the Scottish Government and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have been alongside this journey, keen to see the impact and whether it embeds a focus on prevention and on utilising community assets. Sharing such evidence will be hugely beneficial to the other twenty eight Integrated Authorities.
On 16th March 2017 in Edinburgh, the three partnerships (East Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire and Scottish Borders) gave updates on their early experience of adopting the Community-led Support model. The event was co-hosted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NDTI and the Guardian Newspaper. It was really encouraging to hear some of the key messages coming through:
So Community Led Support has started well across the three Integrated Authorities and is already showing the promise of being able to deliver on the goals set out by Audit Scotland and also through the Scottish Approach. All three areas have engaged their local communities effectively and are at varying stages of translating that engagement into a more asset based approach to both Social Care and Health services. But more significantly still, there is evidence of using Community Development and Empowerment and delivering on these agendas offers real opportunity to make the move a sustainable one.