Integrated care competences

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It is vital that colleagues across health and social care receive support and time to understand how any changes in their role will be introduced as part of the transition to integrated care. 

Experience in the Vanguards and Pioneers has varied. In some Vanguards, completely new roles have been developed, e.g. Care Navigators (2016); while in others, existing roles have been retained and reinforced within multi-disciplinary teams, with a greater focus on collaboration between professions. The common factor is that new and different ways of working are evolving, which require co-ordination, co-operation and collaboration across organisational boundaries.

The Integrated Care Framework (ICF) assumes that everyone has existing ‘role-specific competences’, and will need to demonstrate integrated care competences’ which describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours that underpin these new and different ways.  They will continue to evolve, as suggested in the Skills for Health's Integration and the Development of the Workforce (2016).

Workforce development

Many organisations adopting integrated care have chosen to reinforce the value of existing roles and the contribution that they currently make.

Supporting Integration (2016) and associated Discussion from the Kings Fund  suggest that confirming the value of individual professions and roles provides a strong base on which to build new ways of working. This includes the evolution of new roles, or the extension of existing roles, through collaborative working within the locality.

Skills for Care have also published guidance relating to workforce development and integration.

Organisational development

Experience in the Vanguards has shown that it is vital for colleagues to be engaged from the outset of the development of local integrated care, to share their local insights and to feel involved in the significant changes which integrated care will entail.

Vanguards report that early involvement and support from Organisational Development professionals has played a significant role in their success in innovating and introducing new models of care.