Local Independent Sector Leads focus on the following areas:

> Engaging with and building the capacity of the independent sector to contribute to the integration of health and social care

The focus of activity is to engage with the independent care sector to improve their contribution to the development of the integrated Health and Social Care Partnership. Independent Sector Leads offer a clear point of contact with established methods for communicating intelligence about the sector and its capabilities. This improves engagement in order to facilitate the flow of information and the sharing and implementation of good practice.

> Working in partnership

The focus is on engaging with private independent sector organisations in the area and developing a partnership approach with them. Independent

Sector Leads work on engaging independent sector providers in partnership initiatives and extending existing links with partners.

> Contributing to strategic and locality planning

Independent sector providers are supported to contribute at an enhanced level to strategic planning and commissioning and also to planning at a locality level. This enables independent sector agencies to engage at both strategic and local levels and to build local alliances and partnerships on a geographical basis. There will also be increased capacity to contribute to strategic developments such as market facilitation and other working groups. Independent sector representatives sit on Partnership Strategic Planning Groups in all areas, while in some Partnership areas, the independent sector is also part of the Integrated Joint Board.

> Developing models of support

New models of support are needed to respond to the changing demographic as more people are living longer with increased levels of disability and/or ill health. Raised expectations also mean that people who access care and support and their families and carers want to have more influence and control over available resources. Providers will be supported to test new models through enhancing the resources available to them, including continuous improvement, workforce development and the development of career paths.

> Enabling access to resources in the independent sector

The independent sector has considerable assets. Staff skills and capabilities provide care and support to people with a wide range of disabilities and health conditions and have expertise which could be shared. Additional development resource for the independent sector will enable us to work with local independent sector care homes, care at home and sheltered housing agencies and other partners to ensure that local residents and other organisations can use facilities such as support groups, exercise activities, community lounges, hydrotherapy pools or gardens.