Workforce integration

A nurse and an elderly woman stood outside smiling at each other

Supporting you to make the change to integrated care delivery

We have practical support and resources to help you with workforce integration and development.

What is integration?

Integrated care is about people only having to tell their story once and get the high quality care and support that they want and need. It’s about the right services being provided and care being given by appropriately skilled workers.

Making it happen

Social care, health services, housing organisations and other service providers need to work together to join up the care and support they provide.

This means that we have to work differently when thinking about the learning and development of workers across services and sectors.

We have to find the common ground between us all, find any gaps and put the plans in place to make change happen.

How we’re helping

We’re helping to put the social care workforce at the heart of high quality integrated care by supporting thousands of employers and other partners to understand what integration is and how they can make it happen.

We have provided six months of intensive on-site support to a group of the Integrated Care and Support Pioneers (Cheshire, Cornwall, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Torbay and South Devon and Wakefield) to help them identify and develop the skills, functions and expertise required to deliver personalised, integrated care. We, with Skills for Health helped them to:

  • develop their workforce planning and redesign, including the development of new service models and roles, and the testing of integrated workforce proposals
  • engage with leaders, management, workforce and wider stakeholders to co-produce a workforce solution and develop integrated working behaviours
  • implement change including the development of training packages and recruitment strategies.

We did this by assessing their need and then guiding them to establish tailored flexible solutions based on their own local priorities. To find out more about how we supported these sites click here.

Our offer for new models of care outlines how we can support you to make the change to integrated care delivery. It highlights:

  • why it’s important
  • what the challenges are
  • how we can help you to meet these
  • how culture and leadership are fundamental to integration.

It explains how we’re working with the new models of care including the Integrated Care and Support Pioneers, Vanguard, Better Care Fund and Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) sites, the Transforming Care Programme, and housing services to support the development of an integrated workforce.

You’ll also find a useful directory of our resources which are listed under the key issues for integration.

The Principles of workforce integration

These principles will help you to think though what is meant by workforce integration and the contribution that workforce development can make. There is also practical guidance to help you when thinking about the learning and development needs of your workers.

Download the Principles of workforce integration.

We also have a summary of the principles which is available here.

If you work in the housing sector then you may already be working in an integrated way.

But research shows that there are areas for improvement, which with a new approach to workforce development and planning would improve the impact and outcome for people who need care and support.

We have lots of useful information about why housing is an important partner in workforce integration, plus video case studies which demonstrate how housing, care and support staff have skilfully worked to respond to the needs and wishes of residents to deliver tailored care.

We also have a guide which outlines the challenges and opportunities around adult workforce development for the housing with care and support sector.

Visit our social care and housing web page here.

The different ways of working together

We’ve pulled together examples of how people have been developed to work in a more integrated way.

Download our integrated working and roles document.

Social care and health case studies

We have case studies which show the impact and outcomes for workforce development of:

  • reduced and avoidable hospital admissions
  • reablement and timely hospital discharges
  • smoother transitions from hospital to care settings
  • better use of resources.

Visit our Learn from others site and search for ‘health and social care integration’ to see these case studies.

Social care and the arts

With Creative and Cultural Skills and Skills for Care and Development (SfCD) we have looked at using arts to deliver social care and found that there are many benefits for people who need care and support.

When thinking about the training and development workers would need to support this we found that the use of arts can also help to challenge the preconceptions of people with a range of conditions or needs.

To see the briefing paper and full report on this work visit our Research Knowledge Base and search for ‘social care and the arts’.

Care coordination is an important aspect of integration between social care and health. Many areas have seen a rise in staff involved in coordinating care. This can include activities like supporting people using services to access appropriate care and support, working with professionals to raise awareness of local services available and reducing duplication of efforts.  

We’ve spoken to employers in social care and health to find out about the functions associated with care coordination in their organisation. This short summary gives an overview of the findings from this work.​

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