Building Capacity for Integration: Engaging Local Workforces

Our Spring Collaborative Learning Event formed the second in a three-event series exploring the challenges and opportunities of delivering integrated care. This event focussed on the role of the workforce and attracted over 100 attendees from across northwest London.

Fellows pose with the graduation certificates

Improvement Leader Fellows Graduate


The event kicked off with the graduation ceremony for the 15 Improvement Leader Fellows that make up the 2023 / 2024 cohort. They graduated following a year long programme of study alongside devising and delivering a quality improvement project that aimed to improve care and health outcomes for people in northwest London. The Fellows received their certificates on stage from ARC NWL Director Prof. Azeem Majeed. Project posters were on display during the refreshment break giving attendees the opportunity to find out more about each project and learn more about each Fellow’s plans for the future.

Meet the Fellows and view their project posters.

Lessons from integration


The event’s keynote speech titled “Lessons from integration: implications for building local teams” was up next, delivered by the engaging and insightful health and healthcare policy expert, Nigel Edwards. The talk incorporated interactive elements to encourage audience participation. Nigel asked attendees to consider pertinent questions for those delivering integrated care and asked them to submit their answers using the platform ‘Slido’.


Here’s an example of the answers generated to the question: What do you understand by the word integration?

The reflective talk drew on practical examples and published findings and acted as an innovative way to explore a broad and often complicated subject. Navigating new ways of working together Nigel stated requires patience and focus on the context. He asked attendees to consider the patient and population view of integrated care and its multiple dimensions, including person centres, clinical, professionals, culture and norms, organisational, systemic and functional. Each dimension lends itself as an alternative lens to view the workforce delivering integrated care.

Nigel commented: "I was so pleased to find an atmosphere of positivity and a lot of interest in how clinical teams can work together and how this can improve both patient care and wider population health."


Key takeaways from the presentation include using simplified and clear objectives, especially when dealing with complexity. The vital role of leadership in ensuring everyone is working effectively as a team (rather than a ‘pseudo team’) and the importance of building and maintaining meaningful relationships.

Actionable Learning


The Collaborative Learning Events shift the mode of learning throughout the course of the day. The next session was an interactive ‘Learning Lab' focussed on actionable learning you could use in your work. ’ 

Led by Education Lead, Dr Rowan Myron the group explored the use of a scenario planning tool, which gives a structured way for us to imagine what the future might look like for our healthcare services and the workforce in our sector. 

Two key healthcare uncertainties that we face as a region were identified and the audience was asked to engage in generating ideas for scenarios that make sense of them in their setting. In small groups at tables discussions were had about how we can make the future work to our advantage.

A range of breakout sessions


The ever popular breakout sessions returned with attendees choosing to hear from two of our research themes, as they shared how they had been working differently to research the key issues relating to integrated care.

Event attendees interact with the on stage presenter

 Engaging children and young people in research; lessons learned from junior citizen scientists

Child Population Health and Patient, Public Community Engagement & Involvement


Working together helps to identify shared goals and align efforts. However, within large groups and organisations people can often feel their views and thoughts are not included. This session considered examples of how professionals from health, social care, education and research sectors can work better together with children, patients, and the public.

Understanding Dementia: Insights, Innovations, and Interdisciplinary Workforce Development


In this session, the team offered insights into differentiating normal aging from dementia-related changes, addressing common myths and stigma around dementia. They discussed the vital role of workforce development in tackling dementia's challenges, especially with an aging population, emphasising interdisciplinary collaboration and training initiatives.

A presenter showcases their research on a screen

 ‘Tomorrow is now’ (Eleanor Roosevelt) Bridging Gaps: Enhancing Social Care Research for Integrated Care Systems


NIHR ARC NWL recently launched a 2-year NIHR funded project to support ongoing social care research capacity building across the sector. Social care is an important aspect of integrated care, and its inclusion in integration agendas is crucial to the overall success of these ambitions. Alongside positive experiences and practice lessons are insights from research about what is working well and where there are challenges, and what we could do as a collective to overcome these challenges. 

This session provided an overview of the key lessons learnt from recent research about social care and its inclusion in integrated models of care. This was followed by a discussion on wider questions of research for social care.

Pressures on Emergency Departments and the Role of Digital Services in Reducing It

Emergency departments are under increasing pressure, adversely affecting service responsiveness and contributing to heightened staff stresses and shortages. This session delved into our research on emergency department attendance in Northwest London in the past seven years.

The team presented how the flow and demographic profiles changed, how case complexity has increased and the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in these changes. In the second part of the session, they discussed their review of digital healthcare services and triage systems, including innovations such as self-check-in kiosks, which promise efficient patient prioritisation and data management, alleviating staff workload and improving patient and staff experience and satisfaction.

Ethnicity & Health Unit (Guest session) 


The Medical Education Innovation and Research Centre (MEdIC) at Imperial College London coordinates the WATCCH programme, a widening participation initiative for Year 12 students interested in a career in healthcare.

During this breakout session, the team discussed insights from participants and medical student mentors involved in the programme. They then facilitated an activity exploring the barriers that exist when accessing healthcare careers and what can be done to support young people interested in a career in healthcare.

Perspectives from...

The event ended with an on-stage panel discussion, chaired by Dr Fiona Moss, Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Theme Lead, featuring Prof Sonia Saxena, Child Population Health Theme Lead and Prof. Fiona Verity joint lead for our Social Care work. As they fielded questions from the audience they weaved insights gained from their professional practice and drew on the interactions held in their breakout sessions.  

Highlights from #CLEvent

Selected posts from social media.

Join us for the next Collaborative Learning Event


Our next Collaborative Learning Event will be held on 14 November 2024

As soon as registrations open, we will post details to our events page, alternatively sign up for our newsletter using the form on the bottom right-hand side of our home page.

Associated Theme:

This event was brought to you by our Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Theme and featured all of our Research Themes.