Scottish Government Launches National Clinical Strategy

Health Secretary Shona Robison has set out the blueprint for health and social care in Scotland over the next 10 to 15 years.

Ms Robison, along with senior clinicians, has launched the National Clinical Strategy, which outlines plans to deliver a range of improvements and reforms to modernise the way care is provided.

This long-term plan takes into account Scotland’s ageing population, the shift to more multidisciplinary working and rapid advances in research and technology, in order to make sure it supports the needs of this generation, and generations to come.

The National Clinical Strategy outlines:

  • The need to provide more care where people need it, with as much care as possible delivered locally
  • The transformational change taking place within primary care, which will be delivered by multi-disciplinary teams with strong links with local authority social services
  • That to give patients the best possible outcomes, complex treatments may be delivered in specialist centres, with follow up treatment available locally
  • The importance of supporting patients to fully understand and manage their health needs, with a focus on rehabilitation and independence

The development of the National Clinical Strategy was led by medical director and former GP, Dr Angus Cameron – with input from the National Clinical Director, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer – and involved stakeholders and open meetings with clinicians around the country. The strategy has also been shaped by the views of the patients, public and clinicians who have contributed to the Scottish Government’s on-going Healthier Scotland conversation.

Statement from Health Secretary Shona Robinson

At the Crescent community hub in Dundee, Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“As the population of Scotland changes over the next 15 years our health and care services must evolve with it. We’re committed to ensuring services are of the highest quality and provide the best possible care for patients.

“While we’re already making good progress, with record numbers of staff and a record health budget of almost £13 billion, there are still areas that can be improved to support our aim of providing exemplary health services long into the future.

“This is why it is time for this strategy which will serve as the blueprint for our health and social care over the next 10 to 15 years.

“The foundation of this strategy is to provide care as locally as possible. A whole-team, community-based care approach is vital to the future of the NHS, and will mean that people continue to be treated close to home, or even in their home, in the majority of cases.

“We want to make sure that the best possible care is available for everyone when they need it. This includes supporting patients to fully understand and manage their health needs, with a focus on rehabilitation and independence.

“When it comes to needing hospital care, we want the best results for patients. Evidence shows that people who need very specialist treatment often get better outcomes by receiving it from teams doing complex operations more frequently.

“The strategy outlines proposals to support smaller and rural hospitals to deliver for their communities, this includes having clinicians working across more than one hospital to allow specialist input to be delivered to remote and rural locations. There are good examples where this happens already and we need to build on these successes to ensure equity of access to expert care for all patients.

“The strategy also reflects some of the initial findings from our on-going Healthier Scotland conversation, including having a greater focus on person-centred, joined up care and easier access to local services.

“Our health and social care system is going through a period of change and this strategy will guide how services advance to meet the needs of an ageing population and provide care which is responsive to the needs of the people of Scotland.

“The task now is to work with all stakeholders, local clinicians and decision makers to deliver the improvements we all want to see.”

Source: Scottish Government

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