The integration of health and social care is a major programme of reform aimed at ensuring that those who use services get the right care and support whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey. It’s about different agencies from all sectors collaborating and communicating effectively, so that resources can be managed effectively.
The third sector is at the heart of these reforms. A greater emphasis is being placed on preventative health and social care services in order to alleviate the burden on emergency services. With the third sector providing so many services that help prevent isolation, loneliness and deterioration of health (e.g. older people’s activity groups, volunteer driver schemes, befriending services, coffee mornings and support groups for various specific conditions), it is important that organisations are fully involved in the development of policy.
VASLan’s role as a third sector interface is to link the interests and concerns of the sector to NHS Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire Council and integration authorities. The means for which third sector organisations can make their feelings known about the integration process or how they can get involved is South Lanarkshire’s Third Sector Forum – an engagement platform bringing groups together for networking.