Redesigning overnight support

Overnight support, (previously referred to as ‘sleepovers’) meets a range of needs for people who may need support, reassurance and practical help during the night time hours. In 2017-18, the ihub supported 13 HSPCs to redesign their overnight support services with a focus on empowering individuals to live the lives they want.

Enabling people to make informed choices on what their support looks like and how it is delivered is a central part of Scotland’s health and social care reform agenda.

This programme recognised that there may be better ways to provide overnight support through new opportunities created by technological developments that could both improve outcomes and reduce costs.

We designed and delivered three Action Learning Sessions. A coaching approach was used to support HSCPs and their providers to understand high impact opportunities for redesign and to then design new pathways and models of care together, appropriate to their local context. The Action Learning Sessions bought together individuals leading the redesign of overnight support in HSCPs with key individuals from the Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare, Alzheimer Scotland, Care Inspectorate, COSLA, NHS 24, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Government and Technology Enabled Care. We were delighted to have 16 different third and independent sector organisations also join us for the Action Learning Sessions.

The Action Learning Sessions provided:

  • Practical information and examples of how technology could and is being used to provide overnight support which stimulated new thinking locally.
  • Access to expertise in the implementation of technology enabled care and expertise around how to effectively design and implement new models of This supported partnerships to develop robust redesign implementation plans.
  • Practical advice and support on how to ensure people using services are central to the redesign work.
  • Training on how to make effective use of data to both identify the opportunities for improvement and assess whether changes are delivering sustainable impact.
  • A forum where local teams were able to share their expertise and learning with each other, with the aim of increasing the pace of implementation.

This approach enabled HSCPs to develop redesign implementation plans which were customised to their local context while providing an efficient mechanism for sharing evidence and learning about what works. Critical to the Action Learning Set process was the expectation that change would happen and at the end of each set each area was asked to pledge and identify what they aimed to achieve by the next session.

The Action Learning Sets made best use of the combined knowledge, skills and expertise from the various organisations. Pivotal to this approach were the stories from people who used and provided overnight support, and what was important to them. For instance, we used Robert’s story to highlight the positive impact from implementing new models of overnight support. You can hear it at

Fiona Hodgkiss, of the Scottish Government observed, “The Action Learning Sets brought together providers and commissioners in a dynamic and supportive learning environment to work collaboratively to take a planned, person-centred and multidisciplinary approach towards redesigning overnight support.”

A participant from East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership commented, “We could not have achieved what we did without these Action Learning Sets.”

100% of participants identified a positive impact from participating in this programme. The approach meant that each HSCP was able to focus on the issues they most needed to improve to deliver better outcomes.

This approach clearly demonstrated the benefit from being able to connect areas focused on a similar transformation challenge, support the development of local plans and share knowledge on both improvement and transformation as well as practical and technical information. The ihub will be building on this approach to support HSCPs in the future with transformation challenges.