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Improving Health and Social Care Service Resilience over Public Holidays

In January 2017, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland (RCEM) called for a review of the resilience of all urgent care services over public holidays, primarily prolonged Christmas and Easter festival periods, recognising increased pressures on these services. These concerns were also shared by other professionals and organisations.

Recognising these shared concerns, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport announced on January 17, 2017, the Scottish Government’s intention to review the way health and social care services are provided over public holiday periods, in order to improve resilience and sustainability.

The Review has examined existing availability of services across health and social care sectors over public holiday weekends. It has sought to address how hospital, community and social care services could be better coordinated and aligned more effectively to optimise patient and carer experience.

Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland (ISD, NSS) has prepared an analysis to support the Public Holiday Review (‘the Review’). Key findings are summarised in Section 3 and detailed in a Supplementary Report on Data Analysis of Service Usage, co-published alongside this Review Report. This provides intelligence on what happens in terms of demand and delivery for health and social care services over the Christmas and Easter holiday periods.  It also sets out the available evidence, drawn from national information sources, illustrating what is distinctive about these holiday periods

The proposed recommendations aspire to support individuals, their carers and loved ones, to receive care from the right person, in the right place and at the right time. This includes best use of acute hospital services over public holiday periods and optimising timely discharges with commensurate community support services, where appropriate.

The full report can be found here: