International Centre for Integrated Care
At the 15th International Conference on Integrated Care in Edinburgh May 2015, both the Cabinet Secretary and the COSLA spokesperson for Health and Wellbeing welcomed 500 delegates from 40 nations at a landmark moment in Scotland’s integration journey. During the conference, representatives from the Scottish Government, national health and care organisations, and the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) considered how they may work together to enhance education, knowledge transfer, research and enterprise on integrated care. Partners proposed the development of a Centre for Integrated Care in Scotland, hosted by an academic institution, and established with policy, delivery, academic, third sector and international partners.
The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is in the unique position of delivering the BA (Hons) Integrated Health and Social Care programme. This is an articulated undergraduate programme designed primarily for people working within health and social sectors, including the third sector, in care or administrative roles. The aims of the programme are to develop graduate skills required for the changing landscape of health and social care, enabling graduates to support the most vulnerable in society through evidence-based, integrated, person-centred care and support delivered by a flexible, multi-skilled workforce.
Building on the success of this undergraduate programme, UWS convened an Advisory Board on Integrated Health and Social Care to inform the further development of a cross school portfolio on integrated care. The Advisory Board has endorsed the proposal to establish a centre of excellence on integrated care bringing together academic, policy and delivery partners from Scotland alongside other international partners. The Centre, hosted within the School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery at UWS, will be launched in May 2017 as the International Centre for Integrated Care.
Collaboration with IFIC
As a significant element of the work of the International Centre for Integrated Care will be undertaken in partnership with IFIC, UWS will enter into a formal agreement with IFIC to establish and develop, for mutual benefit, an IFIC Scotland collaboration within the Centre.
The Centre will host, oversee and seek to generate income to support and extend IFIC Scotland’s portfolio. For example, the Centre will provide a platform for the delivery of education and training activities through IFIC’s Integrated Care Academy ©, invest in a co-ordinator to support activities including generating content for an IFIC Scotland web presence, and promote UWS’ contribution to international research and knowledge collaborations on integrated people-centred care.
IFIC is a non-profit membership-based Foundation that has at the heart of its mission to work as a network that crosses organisational and professional boundaries to bring people together to advance the science, knowledge and adoption of integrated care policy and practice throughout the World. IFIC is led by a Board drawn from 16 countries and engages a ‘community’ of over 17,000 individuals and organisations. The Foundation’s work includes managing an open-access and impact-rated scientific journal (the International Journal of Integrated Care); organising a major conference and events programme; running a small research and development faculty that participates in collaborative research and development; engaging in a range of education and training activities through its Integrated Care Academy ©; and supporting innovation and knowledge translation across its members through its website. IFIC has a strategic objective to establish collaborating centres in specific countries and regions in order to promote its mission in specific contexts. The first collaborating centre, IFIC Australia, was established in November 2015 and IFIC collaborating centres are also being developed in New Zealand and Wales.