Workforce integration

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

Supporting you to make the change to integrated care delivery

Integrated care is about people only having to tell their story once and getting the high quality care and support that they want and need, in a joined-up and seamless approach. It’s about the right services being provided and care being given by appropriately skilled workers.

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

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

What are we doing?

Building trust between health and social care

Skills for Care is focusing on the workforce development opportunities that can support and facilitate integration of health and social care services. Registered managers and their teams play an important role in supporting people when they transition in and out of hospital. We're conducting research to find out your views on the subject of hospital admissions and delayed discharge, and to identify potential solutions and opportunities particularly around building relationships and trust.

Please complete our questionnaire with your experiences. 

Care coordination

The title of ‘care coordinator’ is commonly used to identify one worker from across both social care and health who would ‘coordinate’ the care for an individual who accesses care and support. 

It's also used in other ways too though, so we worked with partners to develop a Guide to care coordination. This guide clarifies the functions involved in coordinating care, and supports a consistent definition of care coordination for those working at the interface of social care and health. The new guide will be available in January 2018 - sign up to enews to keep up to date.  

Enhanced health in care home framework

The Enhanced health in care home framework supports providers and commissioners of services to improve the quality of life, healthcare and planning for people living in care homes. We've mapped our tools and resources to the framework here, so that you can look at what practical help there is with adapting the way you work in your service to be prepared for future opportunities that arise from more integrated working. 

We provided six months 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.

Download our offer for new models of care.


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 access care and support.

We have lots of 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’.