Iriss and NES - working together

Published on 27 Feb 2013

Today, Iriss and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue our joint commitment to continuous improvement in Scotland's health and social services. We do this via workforce development, the promotion of organisational learning culture, and evidence-based practice and policy.

Signing the memorandum

The MOU sets out how we intend to work together to achieve this continuous improvement, avoid duplication of effort and, wherever possible, foster collaboration between key stakeholders.

In working together, we will:

  • emphasise and strengthen our mutual commitment to promoting positive outcomes for those who access health and social services support
  • provide a framework for the complementary development of programmes of work
  • increase the effectiveness of both organisations through a sharing of influence, information and relevant intellectual and practical resources.

We have identified and shared the following objectives and concerns:

  • equipping and empowering organisations, staff and service users with the resources, skills and confidence to seek, access and share knowledge and put it into practice, when and where it is needed
  • working in collaboration to implement national knowledge management strategy for health and social care, with the common goal of translating knowledge into practice, policy and planning
  • improving the evidence-base for policy, planning, management and practice in health and social care by supporting development of evidence-informed practice and knowledge exchange
  • supporting technology-enhanced learning, further integrating the resources and capabilities of Iriss and NES through the Knowledge Network (, Social Services Knowledge Scotland ( and associated initiatives
  • strengthening inter-disciplinary professional education, supporting shared learning and promoting new opportunities for learning to promote inter-agency practice in the delivery of integrated health and social services, in line with the 20:20 strategic vision
  • improving opportunities for quality learning in the workplace to support and retain practitioners at all levels within the health and social services workforces
  • supporting seamless sharing and application of knowledge across the continuum of research, education and practice, through collaboration among Scotland's universities and colleges, health and social services employers, professional organisations and other relevant bodies with educational responsibility for health and social services
  • promoting and supporting the direct involvement of those who use services and their carers in all aspects of heath and social services design, delivery, education and evaluation
  • contributing to the development of professional leadership across the health and social services sector
  • through all of the above, applying knowledge to improve outcomes for those who use health and social services and the people who care for them.

Examples of work already delivered

Knowledge Services

A key area of the collaboration between NES and Iriss is with NES Knowledge Services. NES Knowledge Services lead and support delivery of the national knowledge management strategy, provide national knowledge services and tools, and help to build capacity and capability for application of knowledge at point of need to support the 20:20 vision of integrated health and social care, and the national Quality Outcomes.

NES will collaborate with Iriss to support the application of knowledge in all its forms, to help deliver better outcomes for the people and communities which rely on Scotland's health and social services.

Healthier Wealthier Children

Healthier Wealthier Children (HWC) is a Children & Families Financial Inclusion Project funded initially by the Scottish Government within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The purpose of the project is to test whether there are unmet financial inclusion needs for families with children involved with the NHS and to mainstream an approach. Development workers (based in Health Improvement Teams) and Income Maximisers (based in Money Advice Services) were employed across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

NHS Education Scotland and the Iriss collaborated with HWC to develop educational resources. This included two podcasts: a scripted scenario showing routine enquiry around money worries and a local midwife's views on the benefits of HWC. In addition, a mapping tool on national money advice services was developed and is being piloted at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow.

If you would like to find out more about our joint work or make any comment, please contact:

NES: Robert Parry, Associate Director, NMAHP, or Iriss: Alison Petch, Director, Iriss