Skills for Health has today published a working paper examining a crucial issue for the future of the healthcare sector: the successful integration of the health and social care workforces.
‘Integration and the Development of the Workforce’ will provide healthcare organisations with insight and guidance on how their workforce needs to adapt to support successful integration.
Developed in coordination with health and social care employers in the UK and internationally, the paper is the third in Skills for Health’s series of research papers on the health sector workforce, ‘Our Health Heroes in Focus’ .
By working more closely together, health and social care providers will be able to pool their skills, knowledge and resources to increase efficiency and quality of care. However, integration will require breaking down and redrawing traditional boundaries in the way care services are managed and delivered, meaning the two workforces will need to work in a completely different way.
Jon Parry, Principal Research Manager at Skills for Health, said, ‘Integrating the health and social sectors will require moving from a top-down, centrally-managed health system to one that delivers both health and social care seamlessly, shaped around the needs of the patient.
‘Successful integration will not be achieved through simply introducing new policies, but through the concerted effort of those working every day in health and social care.’
This paper explores the high-quality, persistent and effective workforce development that is essential to ensure their buy-in and support them to make this change. Individuals will need to change mindsets, build relationships beyond traditional boundaries and develop their knowledge of other roles and organisations.
Jon Parry continued, ‘The integration agenda will be increasingly important for the foreseeable future, with the healthcare sector’s workforce being a vital component in ensuring its success. Such fundamental change will not happen overnight; organisations will need to consider the long-term support needed.
‘We hope this paper and the others in the series provide a useful contribution to the sector’s thinking about the development of its workforce in this crucial area.’
For more information about Skills for Health visit www.skillsforhealth.org.uk.