Implementing health and social care integration in Scotland: Renegotiating new partnerships in changing cultures of care

Pearson, C. and Watson, N. (2018) Implementing health and social care integration in Scotland: Renegotiating new partnerships in changing cultures of care. Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(3), e396-e403. (doi:10.1111/hsc.12537) (PMID:29349854)

Pearson, C. and Watson, N. (2018) Implementing health and social care integration in Scotland: Renegotiating new partnerships in changing cultures of care. Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(3), e396-e403. (doi:10.1111/hsc.12537) (PMID:29349854)

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Abstract

Health and social care integration has been a long-term goal for successive governments in Scotland, culminating in the implementation of the recent Public Bodies (Joint Working) Scotland Act 2014. This laid down the foundations for the delegation of health and social care functions and resources to newly formed Integrated Joint Boards. It put in place demands for new ways of working and partnership planning. In this article, we explore the early implementation of this Act and how health and social care professionals and the third sector have begun to renegotiate their roles. The paper draws on new empirical data collated through focus groups and interviews with over 70 professionals from across Scotland. The data are explored through the following key themes: changing cultures, structural imbalance, governance and partnership and the role of individuals or “boundary spanners” in implementing change. We also draw on evidence from other international systems of care, which have implemented integration policies, documenting what works and what does not. We argue that under the current framework much of the potential for integration is not being fulfilled and that the evidence suggests that at this early stage of roll-out, the structural and cultural policy changes that are required to enable this policy shift have not yet emerged. Rather, integration has been left to individual innovators or “boundary spanners” and these are acting as key drivers of change. Where change is occurring, this is happening despite the system. As it is currently structured, we argue that too much power is in the hands of health and despite the rhetoric of partnership working, there are real structural imbalances that need to be reconciled.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Watson, Professor Nicholas and Pearson, Dr Charlotte
Authors: Pearson, C., and Watson, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Health and Social Care in the Community
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0966-0410
ISSN (Online):1365-2524
Published Online:18 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 John Wiley and Sons Ltd
First Published:First published in Health and Social Care in the Community 26(3):e396-e403
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
664051What Works ScotlandNicholas WatsonEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/M003922/1SPS - INST. OF HEALTH & WELLBEING