As people working in social services, we spend much of our lives honing our particular professional skills. And rightly so.

But this can lead to a tendency to protect a particular discipline – to draw a line around our particular specialism and defend it from encroachment. With health and social care integration, this tendency is understandable. Suddenly social services roles seem to be sucked into an undifferentiated pool of care activity.

You can react in two ways. On the one hand you can put up professional barriers. You can use methods and language which emphasise the separateness of your work, making it difficult for others to engage. Or you can silo bust, breaking down artificial barriers with health and social care colleagues, seeking out new ways of working collaboratively.

People who do the latter are to be acknowledged as part of the silo busting category in the new Scottish Social Services Awards. The category will recognise people who come together to learn from each other in improving services – or play to each other’s strengths. Critically, it is a chance for people to show how they have made sure that things like separate budgets, locations and decision making processes have not got in the way of putting the service user first.

There are ten categories in the awards. Silo Busting is one of two potential awards people could win under the theme of understanding service quality and performance. The other category within this theme is ‘the courage to take a risk’ which will recognise those who have looked adversity in the face and stood up to make a positive change.

So here’s your chance to help banish the ghosts of narrow siloed thinking that still haunt many areas of service delivery.

Nominations are open until 28 February. For details on how to enter, please click here.

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