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Today’s further integration announcements for Health Care and Local Authorities require a mindset change from competition to collaboration.

The Boards of health trusts, cabinets of local authorities and trustees in the voluntary sector will need to work differently if integration is to be successful.

Current providers largely operate  in complex organisations with different cultures and lines of accountability.

As with any board of leaders their  success or failure will largely be determined by three factors: –
* how they are governed, the composition/make-up of the leadership Board and the dynamics within and between the members of each Board.

Of these, the level of psychological safety within the dynamics will be the most critical factor .Some of the constituent organisations were historically very territorial, had cultures with differing priorities and were primarily focused and rewarded on their agenda rather than a more collective approach.

Some recent diagnostic work for Strategic Transformation Partnerships illustrates the size of the challenges but reassuringly most participants saw the value in working more collaboratively and in improving the levels of Psychological Safety at the Board level.

The integrated and collective approach adopted in rolling out the vaccine program illustrates what can be done and is seen to be highly valued by patients, carers, staff and the community at large.

This illustrates how staff in health and social care will respond well to a system that removes delineation complexity and duplication and works collaboratively .

We need to integrate a Psychologically Safe approach to this new world and reward leaders and their organisations for delivering integration in an appropriate way .

Hamish Moore is chief executive of well-being works, specialists in Board effectiveness and psychological safety.