Training conference

Health and Social Care – the key role of leadership in achieving effective integration

Thinking around leadership and what it means to successfully lead your organisation within the wider landscape of Integration is changing. Health and Social Care leaders and senior managers are increasingly expected to embrace uncertainty; to adopt a collaborative and inclusive approach to service planning and decision making; and to encourage diverse views and constructive challenge from across the system.

With a mix of presentations, interviews and roundtable discussions, this one-day conference will bring together leaders and senior managers from across the sector to explore:

  • The key pressures facing those who lead health and social care services in Scotland
  • The leadership skills required to survive and succeed
  • The role of leadership in driving effective collaborative working across and between agencies
  • The challenges to achieving change and the role of leadership in building a collective ethos
  • The value in developing a culture of empathy, compassion and empowerment


DAVID WILLIAMS, Director of Delivery, Health & Social Care Integration, The Scottish Government
ALLISON TRIMBLE, Senior Leadership and Organisational Development Consultant, The Kings Fund
DR DAVID CAESAR, Head of Leadership and Talent Management – Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform Directorate, The Scottish Government
PHILLIP GILLESPIE, ‎Director of Development and Innovation, Scottish Social Services Council
KAREN HEDGE, National Director, Scottish Care
SUSAN NEVILL, Learning and Development Advisor, Scottish Social Services Council
COSLA Representative, (name to be confirmed)
MARGARET WILLIAMSON, Director, Boardroom Development Limited; Lead for the ‘Board Watch’ project, observing Scotland’s Integrated Joint Boards
ALEX DAVIDSON, Independent Chair, Argyll and Bute; East Ayrshire and Inverclyde Adult Protection Committees (Conference Chair)
*Further speakers to be confirmed*
Health and social care providers face increasingly difficult challenges. These include limited budgets and resources; an ageing population; an increasing number of people with long-term health conditions; the growth of delayed hospital discharges; and rising expectations of personally-tailored care services. All to be met, and overcome, within a climate of significant and ambitious reforms, not least the integration of health and social care services.

No single organisation or department can tackle these complex, interrelated and, often, systemic challenges alone. Providers must work together to become more agile, open, responsive and outcome-focussed. This may require Leaders and Senior Managers across the sector to adopt new skills and approaches. The ‘accidental’ hands-on manager may be required to step out of their silo, connect across disciplines and make decisions collaboratively – for the good of the whole. The myth of the heroic individual leader – often borne out of a culture of hierarchy, defensiveness or vulnerability – may need to be challenged and replaced with the reality of a shared responsibility for leadership across organisations.


We are currently working on the programme for this event and will update this area of the webpage soon.
If you are interested in speaking or contributing to the discussions, contact Mark on 0131 344 4611 or

David Williams, Director of Delivery, Health & Social Care Integration, The Scottish Government
“I qualified as a social worker in 1988 and worked for 2 years in Easterhouse and then 7 years in Drumchapel as a Social Worker and Senior Social Worker.

I moved to the children’s charity NCH in 1997 as Service Manager to set up and run a range of integrated children and family services in the Moray Council area. I was based in Moray until 2004 after which I worked as an Assistant Director for NCH based in Glasgow. In 2005 I moved to the post of Service Director at Quarriers where I remained until returning to Glasgow as Assistant Director of Social Work Services in June 2009.

I became Executive Director of Social Care Services in Glasgow in December 2012 and Chief Officer Designate for the Glasgow City Health and Social Care partnership in July 2014. I was appointed formally to the Chief Officer position by the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board at its first meeting on 8 February 2016.

Whilst in this position, I took on the role of Chair of the national group of Chief Officers in April 2017 for two years, and in May 2019 was seconded to the Scottish Government in a new post, Director of Delivery, Health and Social Care Integration”.

Allison Trimble, Senior Leadership and Organisational Development Consultant, The Kings Fund
Allison Trimble is a Senior Leadership and Organisational Development Consultant at The Kings Fund. She has over 30 years’ experience in the regeneration, health and social care sectors, working with senior leaders in the public sector as well as frontline staff, patient leaders and community-based leaders.

Allison has a background in the third sector and is a founding member and former chief executive of the Bromley-by-Bow Centre, an integrated health and community regeneration organisation in Tower Hamlets.

Allison is Director of The King’s Fund Top Manager programme, co-directs the Building your authority: influencing beyond role programme and supports a range of system leadership work in England and Scotland.

Allison has recently been working with system leaders in Scotland including support for the Scottish Integration Chief Officers Network, the Scottish Government Collective Leadership Programme and the Place2Be – a new initiative for Scottish public health leaders in response to the 2018 Scottish Review of Public Health.

Allison’s development work and coaching practice draws upon a range of approaches including whole systems thinking, complexity ideas, group and systems psychodynamics.

Dr David Caesar, Head of Leadership and Talent Management – Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform Directorate, The Scottish Government
David was appointed as a Deputy Director within the Scottish Government Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform Directorate as Head of Leadership and Talent Management in July 2018, having had a strong interest in clinical and system leadership within NHS Scotland and the wider public sector. This builds on his work as the Chair of the Project Lift team (, established as a collaborative in September 2017, which is pioneering a novel approach to talent management and leadership development within NHS Scotland.

He had previously been National Clinical Advisor to the Chief Medical Officer (Scotland) since February 2016, advising on secondary care services including establishing the Scottish Trauma Network in 2017, as well as engaging with the clinical workforce and civil service on the National Clinical Strategy, Realistic Medicine, workforce issues and leadership. He is a Senior Fellow of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, and is a trustee of the Medic 1 Trust and Save a Life for Scotland charities.

He continues to work clinically at the Emergency Department in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he has previously been the Training Programme Director and Clinical Director. Prior to taking up his current role in the Scottish Government, he was Associate Medical Director at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

This portfolio affords him some time away from being out-negotiated by his 3 children.

Phillip Gillespie, ‎Director of Development and Innovation, Scottish Social Services Council
@SSSCnews @p_dgillespie
Phillip joined the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) in April 2016 as Head of Learning and Development. This followed 18 years in local government where he held a range of management and frontline posts.

Prior to joining the SSSC, Phillip held the post of Assistant Head of Social Services (Adult Care) for Clackmannanshire Council and Stirling Council (shared service). He has a particular interest in work based learning, workforce planning and emerging models of care that support the integration of the Health and Social Services workforce.

Pat Armstrong OBE, Chief Executive, ACOSVO
Pat is Chief Executive of ACOSVO, the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations. Pat has led the IIP accredited organisation since 2003 and having worked in the third sector for over 25 years, she has gained experience of both local and national voluntary organisations from a range of thematic areas.

Pat has an MBA from Heriot Watt University and has a particular interest in leadership development in the third sector. This interest led her to establish the Leadership Exchange Programme which brings together leaders from across the third and public sectors for peer support, good practice sharing and personal development.

As part of the 2018 New Year’s Honours List Pat recognised with an OBE for services to voluntary organisations.
She has two (now grown up) children, is based in Edinburgh but spends part of her time on a croft in Skye and enjoys reading, hill-walking and travelling.

Pat’s other involvements:

  • Vice Chair of OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator)
  • Fellow of the RSA (and was previously Chair of the RSA Scotland Committee)
  • Chair of Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum
  • Board Member of EUCLID, the European Network of Third Sector Leaders

Karen Hedge, National Director, Scottish Care
@scottishcare @hegeit
Karen’s career in social care began as a paid carer and whilst hugely rewarding, she quickly became motivated by the pressures of the sector. A champion for participation and co-production, she believes in evidencing impact through outcomes for people.

Integration has been a theme of her career, having implemented the single shared assessment in an inner London Borough, and been one of the first people in the UK to have a joint funded NHS and Local Authority post, commissioning in Wiltshire. As Director of Finance, Governance and Compliance at the Prince of Wales Foundation in Washington DC, she held stewardship for a fundraising and grant-making non-profit, reporting directly to Clarence House.

As National Director of Scottish Care, she continues to shape the future of social care. Her portfolio includes reform, integration, commissioning and procurement and nursing in care. She particularly values the Scottish Care Awards where she learns of the successes of the sector and from those who effect change.

When she is not working, the ‘Ayrshire lass’ can be found on the beach with her family, letting the good sea breeze blow away the cobwebs. Her previous voluntary roles include Trustee for Milestones Trust, and Chair of the NCT Bath branch. She is currently on the committee of the Unfunded List, an international not-for-profit which supports unsuccessful fundraisers to meet their next bid, and is a Board member of Learning Network West, supporting social work education.

Susan Nevill, Learning and Development Advisor, Scottish Social Services Council
@SSSCnews @nevill_s
Susan has had a varied career starting with an Art Degree, leading to a focus on Art Therapy and then into Social Work 20 years ago. She worked predominately, in practice and strategy roles, within services for Vulnerable and Hard to reach groups such as criminal justice, drug and alcohol, domestic violence and homelessness.

Susan held a leadership role within the team that established the first nurse-led GP practice in Scotland for Vulnerable and Hard to reach groups in Perth and Kinross.

She moved into coaching, counselling and organisational development 10 years ago and has continued to build on these skills supporting practitioners and organisations to recognise and maximise the value of relational skills within practice to improve outcomes for people using services.

Outside of work, Susan has 3 boys which keep her very busy and enjoys walking her dog on the beach – especially on the West Coast.

Margaret Williamson
Margaret Williamson, Director, Boardroom Development Limited
Margaret Williamson is an organisation development consultant specialising in improving the performance of Boards and Executive Teams. She has been Director of Boardroom Development Limited, an independent strategy and organisation development consulting practice for the past 23 years and prior to that held senior positions in finance and consulting. A champion of boardroom diversity, she created the Boardroom Mentor Programme, the first competency-based programme for women non-executive directors in the UK. She has extensive experience as a non-executive director and audit chair in the public and social enterprise sectors.

Alex Davidson, Independent Chair, Argyll and Bute; East Ayrshire and Inverclyde Adult Protection Committees
Previously Head of Adult Services in Social Work Resources, South Lanarkshire Council, Alex has managed services in Lanarkshire and Easterhouse, Glasgow.

For ten years Alex was an Associate in the Joint Improvement Team working on Integrated Practice, Reshaping Care for Older People, and on other Adult groups across Scotland. He has also worked as an Associate in Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

For ten years he held the position of Independent Chair of the Perth and Kinross Adult Support and Protection Committee, and for six years held the same role for West Lothian APC. Alex is currently the Independent Chair of Argyll and Bute, East Ayrshire and Inverclyde Adult Protection Committees.

Recently Chair of PAMIS, a national charity promoting an inclusive society for people with complex and profound learning and physical disabilities, Alex has also held the role of Board Member at Key, Voices of Experience (VOX) and the Scottish Muscle Network.

Alex is currently the voluntary Independent Chair of the Future Pathways Alliance, Scotland’s In-care Survivors Fund, and is working as a consultant reviewing older people’s services and conducting a Significant Case Review in local partnerships.

The early bird discount for this event ended on Friday 23 August 2019.

A group booking discount is available for this event. Book two delegates and get a third place at half-price. To take advantage of this offer, just enter the discount code GROUP3 on the booking form.


Private sector rate
(Commercial organisations – Ltd, plc, LLP etc)

Public sector rate
(Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, schools, NHS, police, universities and colleges etc.)

Board members rate (public sector)
Available to all Board members from across the Public Sector

Third sector rate
(Charities, voluntary and community groups, tenant and patient groups, professional bodies, trade unions etc)

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COSLA Conference Centre,
Verity House,
19 Haymarket Yards,
EH12 5BH

Tel: +44 (0)131 474 9200

COSLA Conference Centre


By Rail, Haymarket Station.
Approximately 5 minutes walk.

By Air, Edinburgh Airport.
Approximately 15 minutes away.

By car…

Directions to and from COSLA