IFIC Scotland 2020 Year in Review

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….. that pretty much sums up 2020.

The dreadful global impact of COVID-19 disrupted our workplan but IFIC Scotland still managed to achieve some key milestones.

In March we successfully concluded our Transforming Together project with colleagues from São Paulo State Secretary of Health and teams from the beautiful Litoral Norte region. We miss you lots! We met virtually in August when we shared our experience in a webinar for Latin America and the Caribbean, hosted by the InterAmerican Development Bank’s Social Protection division.

Our new Compassionate Communities Active Learning Programme kicked off just as Coronavirus hit but we quickly pivoted to deliver it online. Mandy Andrew and our ALP faculty have done a terrific job in supporting participants as they strive to improve lives and opportunities in their local communities by living our values of kindness and compassion.

Our virtual event on Healthy Ageing, with our Ageing and Frailty SIG, celebrated WHOs Decade of Healthy Ageing. Our report can be accessed here. We were truly inspired by Age Friendly Ireland, the first country to achieve full membership of the WHO Age Friendly Programme. The event prompted a proposal for a new initiative in Scotland around Wellbeing in Later Life. Watch this space….

September was a blur as we supported IFIC in hosting their successful virtual conference. Team Scotland chaired sessions with our SIGs, hosted several workshops and featured in two plenary sessions. A real highlight was the videos of lived experience, grounding the plenary sessions in what really matters to people. We are thrilled that the Hubs will be more involved in the planning and delivery of ICIC21 – bring it on!

With thanks to Axel Kaehne, Editor of the Journal of Integrated Care, we had the opportunity to guest edit a Special Issue on Integrated Palliative and End of Life Care. This attracted papers from SIG members in Scotland, England, Ireland, India and Isle of Man. Axel has invited us to develop another special issue in 2021. This time, Intermediate Care: Integrated, Local and Personal will be developed with our Intermediate Care SIG and the Community Hospitals Association. The call for papers closes April 30 2021.

We hosted seven Integrated Care Matters webinars this year and have another five planned for the first half of 2021. You can access the webinars here. A huge thanks to IFICs Darren Curran and Miriam Galvin and to our own Marie Curran for technical support, and to our knowledge partner Iriss for creating the topic resources.

Lockdown restrictions gave us some head space to work on our ‘things to write up’ list. We revamped our Hub webpage, published five joint articles from our work for Advantage JA, submitted a new chapter for the second edition of the Handbook Integrated Care, and wrote a blog for WHOs IntegratedCare4People platform. And our policy paper reflecting on the implementation of integrated care in Scotland has just been submitted for IJICs special anniversary issue.

Our Frailty Matters project with UWS has now reached the final phase. The combined coaching and educational programme, framed around a House of Care for Frailty, landed well with district nurses. The team are keen to test the approach with other disciplines and services. Please get in touch if you are interested in testing the model in your teams or services.

Last month we shared the House with colleagues from the Isle of Man Integrated Care programme. Islands are a fantastic living lab and we have lots to learn from our Manx friends in how they managed COVID-19 and scaled up Hospice at Home, Project Echo and Compassionate community developments.

We continue to support Helen Rainey and colleagues from UWS in the Leading People Centred Integrated Care Masters programme. We are blown away by how the alumni from different sectors are applying their learning to lead change.

We look forward to supporting IFIC in their online learning programme next year. We reckon we have adapted quite well to the world of virtual meetings and online learning. But we do miss the face to face gatherings and knowledge exchange. After all, integrated care is all about relationships!

So we are excited that a massive vaccination programme is now underway that will enable us to reconnect next year. Until then, may all our friends, families and colleagues stay safe.

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a successful 2021 that brings Hope, Joy and the freedom to Hug again!

Anne, Mandy, Marie and Janette

Prof Anne Hendry
Director, IFIC Scotland
Senior Associate, International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC)