North Lanarkshire’s new health and social care plan has pledged to be ‘bold and innovative’ in the ways that it delivers frontline services.

The strategic commissioning document will find a role for human learning systems, data and people-led system transformation.

With a rise in homelessness expected across the region, due to the cost of living crisis, the new strategy puts emphasis on harnessing technology post-pandemic to deliver more effective care.

The plan sets out ambitious key local priorities for health and social care services over the next three years to ensure people are robustly supported to live in their own homes and lead independent lives in their communities. In the new document, this includes continuing to ‘adapt and install equipment and technology to help people live for longer in their own home’.

Key priorities include:

  • ·       Improving access to services
  • ·       Reducing health inequalities
  • ·       Delivering high-quality, person-centred care
  • ·       Promoting early intervention and prevention
  • ·       Empowering individuals and communities
  • ·       Fostering partnership working
  • ·       Contributing towards national health and wellbeing outcomes

A launch event was hosted at Coltness High School, featuring several key speakers, including Sir Harry Burns, professor of practice and special adviser at the University of Strathclyde. He was joined by the chief executives of North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire who detailed how their respective organisations plans dovetail with the Strategic Commissioning Plan. 

The audience heard speeches on people-led system transformation and human learning systems. These two areas are coming increasingly to the fore for the partnership, as it looks to explore and capitalise on bold and innovative new ways of delivering health and social care services across North Lanarkshire.

The strategy said: “We will seek to take a Human Learning Systems (HLS) approach to understand what makes a difference in people’s lives. We will seek to co-design integrated solutions based on people’s strengths and assets in the context of a whole system. Our workforce will be empowered to test new approaches and report what works. We will capture and use data and intelligence in a different way to support learning, bringing professionals and people together to reflect regularly and share learning. We will work creatively and continue to develop a realistic medicine approach.”

Professor Ross McGuffie, chief officer, Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “This plan reflects the feedback and input of people across North Lanarkshire to develop a shared vision for local health and social care. It focuses on promoting early intervention, empowering communities and fostering partnerships to ensure services meet the needs of the population.

“It outlines our commitment to developing and delivering services that provide support to individuals, families, and our wider communities to improve their health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life.”

Professor Jann Gardner, chief executive, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “High quality community health and social care services play a crucial role in supporting people to maintain a better level of health. This is achieved through prevention, support and treatment to help people to live a better life at home for as long as possible.  

“NHS Lanarkshire also has a key role as the employer of around 14,000 staff to create the conditions to encourage people to come and work with us, support and develop our staff and work to be a good and active employer who listens to staff and community.

“This plan has been developed to achieve these wide-ranging goals in partnership with our local communities. The extensive engagement work carried out tells us that this plan reflects the needs and aspirations of the people of North Lanarkshire. The entire focus of the plan is helping people to access the wider range of services and support that they need.”

Des Murray, chief executive, North Lanarkshire Council, said: “It’s important to thank the people of North Lanarkshire for engaging with us and shaping the development of this plan.

“It’s particularly encouraging that we had such a high level of participation from a wide range of our communities, partner organisations and staff. It is essential that we listen to their experiences and act on them to provide the services they tell us they need.”

The Strategic Commissioning Plan 2023-26 can be viewed at: