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Systems leadership

The aim of the project is to work with Health and Social Care Commissioning, Community Healthcare, Acute Care and Adult Social Care in Plymouth to provide “One System, One Budget, to Deliver Integrated, Personal and Sustainable Care”

As part of the new joined-up approach, Plymouth City Council has transferred its adult social care services to Plymouth Community Healthcare (CIC).  On 1 April 2015, c.180 members of staff, including social workers, occupational therapists, community care workers, business support administrators and service managers moved across.  In order to be successful these outcomes require significant change to the way Health and Social Care staff work together.  

This presents a workforce development challenge, which requires separate organisations to work together towards a set of shared values.  Colleagues in the four organisations will need to work and lead across a system, requiring an understanding of one another’s areas and the ability to build outstanding relationships across organisational boundaries.

It is anticipated that this group of staff will be 150 people.

The content of the programme will include:

  • Systems mapping – identifying perspectives and focusing on relationships & dynamics;
  • Public narrative skills – mobilising self and others to take action;
  • Understanding the value we can create in the system;
  • Deepening relationships with one another and developing skills in building new relationships;
  • Developing skills to influence and understand multiple perspectives in the system;
  • Understanding motivations and actions;
  • Systems skills of visioning for the future;
  • Understanding the real work to do together and ways to bring a system perspective to this;
  • Considering ways that change happens and drawing on some of the theories, underlying technical, psychological and social/political approaches to change;
  • Developing skills of reflection;
  • High-performance coaching (using the Plymouth Coaching Network);
  • Linking this learning to real work and outcomes, as a vital component of the programme.

The project is a fundamental part of our work on the commissioning and delivery of health and social care services. 

The ability of leaders in health and social care to work across a system, building relationships, narratives, mapping and understanding perspectives will be crucial to the success of the integration programme.

Guy Dickson Head of Organisational Development, Human Resources and Organisational Development at Plymouth City Council, said: The proposed model has been met with enthusiasm by our integrated strategy leads, who can see the enabling potential in an action research approach to systems leadership.

The project is aming to be completed in April 2017.  For more information, please contact Guy Dickson.


    A number of benefits have been identified through the Integrated Health and Wellbeing for Plymouth.  These include:

    1. For the residents of Plymouth:
    • A system that is accountable to users and has been designed with their involvement;
    • Development of strong working relationships between community services, acute services and primary care through implementation of Integrated Case Management;
    • Widespread engagement in how services are designed;
    • More care delivered in the community;
    • Better access to condition management information, self- management and prevention;
    • Only needing to tell their story once;
    • Improved sharing of information to enable people to make their own choices;
    • Support from a well-informed professional worker who can provide information or assistance at the time it is needed;
    • Opportunity to take a lead in the on-going shaping of services;
    • Person-centered care and community-based care.
    1. For staff this will mean:
    • Providing greater and more flexible career options and the opportunity for up skilling/ skills transfer between professionals;
    • Integrated workforce plan designed to deliver service strategies;
    • Fewer barriers to effective decision making;
    • Ability to focus on delivering support to citizens;
    • Focus on culture change, empowering staff to take ownership of delivering high quality services.
    1. For the provider sector:
    • Critical mass of services to enable flexible use of resources;
    • Opportunity to invest due to greater financial certainty and delivery flexibility;
    • Increasing productivity and accelerating improvements in service quality through working with all stakeholders to redesign services;
    • Reducing waste in the system through eliminating the amount of duplication;
    • Making better use of community assets due to flexibility and removal of organisational boundaries;
    • More integrated back-office and support functions to provide seamless support and enable efficiencies;
    • Simplified contracting arrangements and more focus on effective delivery.

    This Page was last updated on: 26 November 2015

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