One of the main messages to emerge from CIPFA’s 2014–2015 programme of round-table discussions on integration was that the differences between the financial frameworks of health and social care can act as an obstacle to whole systems progress. That suggested that it would be helpful if CIPFA provided resources designed to improve mutual knowledge and understanding, so that everyone in the system is better informed to facilitate collaborative working. To that end:
We held a pilot training day in Greater Manchester in December 2015, with an excellent attendance of 30 across the whole range of health and local government. GM has a longer history of joint working than do most areas, but even so everyone felt that there was worthwhile learning to be had – and then picked up in to thoughts about how integration could be improved in practice.
Participants sat in locality groups, so replicating everyday joint working, and fed back the value of that arrangement. The training is currently being adjusted for comments made and will then be rolled out next year. We will make training available by various means but already it seems that the greatest benefit will be gained if finance staff from a whole local system learn together. The emphasis will be on offering the course in that style with exercises to test out how those works operate in practice.