More Than Medicine

There’s a lot more to medicine than tests and
measurements and bio-medical markers, which
we’ve been so focussed on in the last ten years.
The impact that mental health and social circumstances
has on the ability for someone to live well with a longterm
condition is something that I don’t think you
can quantify and it’s something that we shouldn’t be
ignoring either. I think this just gives the opportunity to
bring that into the conversation and I think More than
Medicine is crucial – I think third-party and voluntary
organisations have a huge part to play in supporting
people with long term conditions just to live a better
life. I think we’re so focussed, or we were so focussed,
on a pill for every ill and wanting to fix everything, where
it’s not always about fixing something, it’s just about
making life maybe a wee bit more bearable or a wee bit
more enjoyable sometimes and just accepting things for
what they are and appreciating that’s there more out
there for people than just what I can do really. GP

ALISS and Scotland’s House of Care
The ‘More Than Medicine’ foundation of
Scotland’s House of Care recognises that
positive health outcomes are intrinsically
linked to social connectedness and being able
to live as well as possible within a community
setting. But how do people, including our
health and social care professionals, know
what type and range of support is available in
local communities? ALISS (A Local Information
System for Scotland) has the answer!
Funded by the Scottish Government and
delivered by the Health and Social Care
ALLIANCE Scotland, ALISS helps people find
and share information about local assets
and services (including those delivered by
volunteers and the third sector) that support
health and wellbeing. ALISS does so by
offering a unique digital service that allows
information from lots of different sources to
be brought together on and
which can be made searchable on virtually any
other website or digital platform. This means
that people can find resources that support
them to live well from whichever place is most
familiar and accessible for them.
ALISS allows information to be collaboratively
managed – so enabling people, communities
and professionals to work together to keep
the information up to date and accurate.
Alongside the digital service, ALISS can also support activities like asset mapping and
community engagement. Like House of
Care, ALISS is grounded in the principle of
co-production having been co-designed with
people living with disabilities, people living
with long term conditions, unpaid carers,
health and social care professionals and IT /
data experts.
ALISS is now widely used across the Scottish
health and social care landscape. The ALISS
programme is working with a diverse range
of partners including NHS 24, Community
Pharmacy Scotland, Living It Up, The National
Link Worker Programme, HSCPs and third
sector interfaces. This partnership activity was
commended in the 2015 NHS Scotland Chief
Executive Annual Report. The impact and
value of ALISS is also recognised by the Chief
Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood who
has stated that;
ALISS is a fantastic aid to joining people to
supports that fit their situation based on the
needs they have identified….as professionals,
it encourages us to be equally curious about
our patients, not just trying to help address
their illness, but also in drawing upon what
keeps them well. Asking people to think about
what matters to them is in itself a hugely
powerful therapeutic intervention.


What does the future hold?
The House of Care and ALISS programmes
are now collaborating to build an information
platform that will ensure that everyone
working within the House of Care framework
can access the ‘More than Medicine’
information relevant to their localities. The
ALISS team have also began a programme of
engagement with House of Care practitioners
to help them turn the information they gather
as part of their interactions with people and
communities into a tangible resource that
can benefit others. We are also exploring
exciting opportunities to generate and share
analytic and other data that can be used to
support future service planning and strategic
outcomes focused decision making.

In Development
We are currently testing a House of Care More Than Medicine page where you can search for community assets – click on the link below to have a look:

More Than Medicine