Skills for Care

Skills for Care’s ‘Making integration happen’ campaign

01 Jul 2024

4 min read

As we launch our ‘Making integration happen’ campaign, our CEO Oonagh Smyth discusses how we can better understand integrated care systems (ICS) and promote integrated care.

Integration between health and social care is an important step to providing people with personalised support that improves their quality of life. Integrated care systems (ICS) play a key role in promoting and facilitating this integration, which is why we’ve dedicated this campaign to promoting a better understanding of how collaborating with ICS can lead to seamless services for those being supported.

This July, our 'Making integration happen’ campaign will focus on the importance of #IntegratedCare, empowering social care providers to engage with their ICS, and highlighting the many benefits that collaboration brings. It will also enable adult social care to be better understood across the whole system, by explaining its value and the data describing the makeup of the sector.

People are more likely to feel supported when services are well coordinated and focused on their needs. That sounds easy to do – but how do you do it? Well, it really helps when people working in health and people working in social care take time to understand one another's challenges and feel like they are working towards a common goal. This allows us to focus more on prevention, including reducing hospital admissions and delivering support tailored to individual needs from the outset.

There are 42 ICS across England, each one helping to make health and social care more integrated across their respective region. Social care providers have a significant influence in shaping the direction of integration at the local level, which makes engagement with these organisations crucial. In some cases, providers are already interacting with these organisations without knowing they are collaborating with an ICS. This campaign aims to clarify these relationships, explaining how and why care providers should engage with ICS.

Integration benefits not just those being supported but can present real opportunities to those working in social care. Coordination and collaboration among multidisciplinary teams, whether through unified workforce planning or joint recruitment and training efforts, supports a better understanding between health and care professionals, making care services run smoother and opening potential career opportunities for people working across both health and social care.

As ICS continue to grow and evolve, it's crucial for social care to be central to discussions, ensuring the sector’s voice is heard on key issues like funding, planning, and commissioning of local care and support services.

The ‘Making integration happen’ campaign is running throughout July across our website, social media, and other communications channels. It will include links to plenty of support and useful resources for social care providers, in addition to blogs and articles from sector experts about the principles of workforce integration and how to become more involved in integrated care and your local ICS.

You can follow the campaign by visiting our ‘Making integration happen’ campaign hub and get involved with sharing your own insights on social media by using #IntegratedCare.

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