About the Programme

The Third Sector Health and Social Care Support Team has been commissioned by the Scottish Government to: –

  • Increase the third sector’s capacity to engage in and contribute to health and social care integration generally, and its strategic decision making processes specifically; and
  • Increase Health and Social Care Partnerships’ capacity to work effectively with the third sector and to plan and implement solutions that enable this.

The Programme augments and complements the existing support that is available to the third sector and Partnerships through the Scottish Government’s wider investment in third sector capacity building, the work commissioned and delivered by the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Integration Division, and the work of other national improvement and support partners, such as the Improvement Hub.

The Programme adopts an asset-based approach to its capacity building activity but this is grounded in developing an in-depth understanding of the context of integration and current issues and challenges, to enable effective prioritisation of its activities.

Given the nature of the third sector and its strategic engagement, the Programme also indirectly contributes to the work of capacity building programmes that support users and carers to coproduce the new health and social care landscape.

How we operate

The Programme seeks to afford its stakeholders the means to acquire knowledge and increase connectivity, and then deploy this in their practice.

To achieve this the Programme gathers and collates information; builds information resources, tools and templates; delivers and commissions training; and facilitates individual and group thinking and discussions. In practice, this means that the Programme is delivered through six work streams, with the learning generated being shared with its stakeholders in real time.

The six work streams are:

  • An integration-related health and social care information and signposting service, coupled with support to maximise its impact;
  • A programme of learning opportunities, focused on the third sector’s needs in relation to integration;
  • Support for network development and facilitation (targeted at enhancing the flow of information between Integration Authorities and the sector; developing the sector’s collective voice; and / or enhancing the sector’s ability to work collaboratively and support itself);
  • An integration-related research service (to provide information and analysis that can be used to enhance the sector’s ability to contribute to and influence strategic discussions);
  • An outreach service that works with individuals and groups in local areas (targeted at increasing the sector’s contribution to health and social care integration at a practice and strategic level); and
  • Partnership delivery of integration-related information, learning opportunities and research with the Scottish Government, and other national support and improvement programmes.

You will find more detailed information about the methodology we use and our prioritisation process in ‘About the Third Sector Health and Social Care Support Team

You may also find our Programme information leaflet helpful.

Our Outcomes

The long term outcome the Programme seeks to contribute to is ‘the third sector is better able to contribute to and influence health and social care thinking, discussions and decision making at a local and national level’ and has been designed around a theory of change that is rooted in a series of interlinked hypotheses related to achieving this. These are: –

  1. If the sector has a clear and current understanding of the context and landscape, and has the means to consider and reflect on these, it will be better able to: contribute strategically; identify and explore opportunities for improving outcomes through collaborative service delivery; and individual third sector organisations will be better able to proactively evolve their own services to maximise their contribution to outcomes.
  2. The sector will freely share its experience, knowledge and expertise if it is aware of how this contributes to improving outcomes and has the means and capacity to share.
  3. If those who advocate for the sector’s interests have access to appropriate information, training and support, and are well-connected to the sector (both organisations operating locally and those with specialist expertise who do not), they are more confident and competent, and better able to influence strategic discussions

The outcome chains developed using these provided seven short term outcomes that the Programme could directly influence (and assess its impact against) and five medium term outcomes that it could contribute to.

We believe we can directly influence:

  1. More evidence informed information about how to create an environment that enables and maximises the third sector’s contribution to health and wellbeing is available
  2. Participating third sector organisations have easy access to information about the health and social care landscape, and its associated third sector networks.
  3. Participating third sector organisations have increased knowledge and understanding of integration related policy and practice
  4. Participating third sector organisations can navigate the system more effectively
  5. Participating third sector organisationsare more connected to one another and to others with expertise
  6. Participating third sector organisations are better equipped to exert strategic influence
  7. Participating third sector organisations have structured opportunities to work together to develop a collective voice

We believe that it is logical to presume that achieving these will contribute to:

  1. The primary stakeholders in health and social care integration, including Health and Social Care Partnerships, the Scottish Government and the third sector, better understand how to create an environment that enables and maximises the third sector’s contribution to health and wellbeing
  2. Health and social care partnership structures, processes and practices enable and maximise the third sector’s contribution to health and wellbeing
  3. The third sector has a clear and current understanding of the integration landscape and how to navigate it
  4. The third sector has better knowledge & understanding of integration related policy, learning and emergent good practice
  5. The third sector can effectively contribute to the strategic commissioning process and this is valued and recognised
  6. Those who advocate for the sector in strategic forums have the knowledge, skills and connections they need to effectively contribute to and influence health and social care discussions
  7. The sector’s strategic engagement and influence is better coordinated

Programme Partners:

The programme is being delivered by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) with its delivery shaped by a partnership between:


The programme is supported by a grant from the Scottish Government

Share this page (Links open new windows/tabs)

  • Share this page on LinkedIn (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Delicious (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Digg (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Posterous (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Reddit (opens new window)