Director’s overview

2016 – A year of bringing together expertise, knowledge and best practice and building strong relationships with our key partners

1 April 2016 saw the launch of Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s new improvement support offering, the Improvement Hub (ihub for short).

This new offering brought together existing improvement support teams from Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the Quality and Efficiency Support Team and the Joint Improvement Team. We have been established to provide support for health and social care organisations to redesign and continuously improve services, with the aim of providing better quality health and social care for everyone in Scotland.

Sitting as part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the ihub is able to develop offerings which integrate and align with our organisations Evidence and Quality Assurance functions. Through strong partnership working with the Scottish Health Council, the ihub also enables the voice and experience of those using services and their families to inform the design and delivery of health and social care services.

Our focus in 2016–2017 was on:

  • delivering the 31 existing programmes of improvement support which had transferred in as part of the merger process, including the internationally renowned Scottish Patient Safety Programme
  • designing and launching new programmes of support for GP clusters, palliative care, neighbourhood care and strategic commissioning
  • developing our relationships with the new Integration Authorities and then redesigning our programme of work to ensure it is closely aligned with the health and social care system’s key priorities for improvement support
  • developing effective partnership working with a much wider range of national and local organisations, including key partners in Local Government, and
  • completing the merger’s legacy work, including significant internal organisational change.

And all of this was in a context where our key delivery partners were also undergoing significant change on the back of the introduction of the new Integration Authorities.

What has stood out throughout all of this has been the massive personal commitment of so many individuals working across health and social care to delivering better outcomes for people in Scotland; sometimes at considerable personal cost. We have also valued enormously the willingness of the new Integration Authorities to help us understand how to better support them.

And the good news is that, despite an extremely challenging context, we continue to see impressive improvements happening across the system. It was impossible in this report to summarise them all, there is simply too much good work happening. Instead, we have used this report to provide you with a taster of the ihub’s work, all of which is delivered in partnership with those working locally in NHS boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships.

One of my all-time favourite quotes is from Margaret Mead, an American Cultural Anthropologist who said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

In our work across Scotland, we are privileged to see this playing out every day and I am delighted to share, through this report, some practical examples of how individuals across Scotland are working together in new and innovative ways to deliver better outcomes for people in Scotland.

Ruth Glassborow
Director of Improvement Support, and the Improvement Hub (ihub)
Healthcare Improvement Scotland