The European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC 2017) event showcased the work of a number of regions involved in the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) – a unique example of a partnership voluntarily-bringing together a wide range of regions, industries, research institutions, and end-user organisations committed to innovating for European citizens’ needs, by addressing a triple win: health and quality of life; sustainable and efficient care systems; and growth and the expansion of EU industry in line with the Commission’s priorities in jobs, growth and investment, as well as the digital transformation of health and care.
Through the EIP on AHA, the European cities and regions implemented comprehensive, innovation-based approaches to active and healthy ageing and shared information and good practices to overcome bottlenecks in innovation, knowledge-pooling and resource-sharing. As a result of close collaboration of four Reference Sites (the Basque Country, Norrbotten, Olomouc and Scotland) via EU Health Programme funded project SCIROCCO, an online tool to assess the progress of regions and their maturity in the provision of innovative integrated care solutions has been developed.
The session stimulated discussion with policymakers and practitioners and provided a platform to share regional experience in developing and implementing innovative approaches to integrated care solutions and reaching out to other regions to accelerate their journey towards innovative systems to meet future demands.
The follow up local event was then organised in Glasgow in Scotland on 21 November 2017. The event brought together public policy-makers, healthcare professionals, representatives of social care, housing and voluntary sectors, academia and end users to discuss the experience of European regions and organisations in developing and delivering integrated health and social care. The event was also an opportunity to explore the potential of the Tool to facilitate the partnerships and knowledge transfer to facilitate scaling up of integrated care in Europe.
- Putting citizens at the heart of integrated care can unlock the potential of innovation and build the capacities of European regions to address the challenge of ageing.
- Implementation and scaling up of integrated care solutions requires understanding and readiness of the environment that would enable adoption of these solutions.
- Assessing the readiness of a system of care to innovate e.g. with integrated care, helps to build resilience in regions and cities.