European Policy Brief: Social Innovation in Health and Social Care

Published: May 2017 Publication Type: Publication

This policy brief on Social Innovation in Health and Social Care is based on results of the EU-funded project “Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change” (SI-DRIVE). Highlights of this policy field are given from results of a quantitative mapping of 154 example, in-depth case studies of 15 social innovation initiatives, and policy workshops with external experts in Spring 2017.

Social innovation is an important tool for tackling some of the significant challenges facing health and social care across the world. However, there are also significant barriers to bringing about change in this way. The cultures around, and within, health and social care provision, and the habits and expectations of service users, can make change difficult.

There are a number of important ‘innovation assets’, which policy-makers can help to facilitate in order to enable innovation. Convening appropriate skill sets, capital, and buy-in can be difficult for innovators to do by themselves. For this reason, we find that cooperation is an important dimension to innovation in health and social care.

Policy recommendations include: facilitating understanding of contexts; creating innovation pathways and plugging gaps; removing barriers; and communicating value and building cultural change.