1. Professional leadership for the new agenda : visibility, accountability and impact
"The integration of services needs to be improved to deliver better health and social care services: services should be characterised by strong and committed clinical and care professional leadership."
(Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy, 12 December 2011)
AHPs have a significant leadership role to play in the integration of health and social care service delivery. New health and social care partnerships will need innovative thinking and solutions to underpin their development and to support the transformation of services to be fit for the future.
AHP leaders' influence is already high in a number of NHS boards, but not all AHP directors are sufficiently well positioned to impact on local decision making or to influence future planning for integration. Their visibility and accountability for delivery of organisational priorities needs to be strengthened through a new and innovative approach to leadership that supports AHP Directors and designated leads of AHPs to have a locus of influence across health and social care partnerships and to drive key elements of the National Outcome Framework.
AHPs, with their expertise in enablement and rehabilitation, can bring a fresh perspective to the integration agenda. They need to be working alongside their social work, nursing and medical director colleagues as equal partners, influencing and bringing new thinking and solutions to the challenges of demographic change, sustainability and affordability of services and to the delivery of more enabling, rehabilitation and intermediate care services.
Our question is - How might we strengthen AHP leadership, at strategic and operational levels, to support integration and deliver the added value that AHPs bring to current challenges and priorities?
Our proposals are set out below. Are these the right actions? What else could we do?
- AHP directors, in partnership with AHPs in social care, will develop a work programme to support reshaping care and evaluation of high quality, best value interventions to support the effective use of the Change Fund.
- AHP directors and leads in the new community health and social care partnerships will be ideally placed to lead the development of rehabilitation and re-ablement services across health and social care.
- AHP leaders of health and social care teams will drive improvement locally, strengthening the connection between quality improvement for people who use services and the collection of data to demonstrate outcomes and service impact.
- AHP directors should explore opportunities to adopt corporate leadership roles in clinical engagement and interprofessional working.
- AHP directors and leaders across health and social care will consider how to strengthen AHP leadership within and across agencies, including succession planning.
- AHP leads within Health and Social Care Partnerships should be full participants in locality planning processes as outlined in the Scottish Government's proposals for integration.
Email: Susan Malcolm