The framework for the development of Primary Care in Scotland over the next five years is the Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSScotland. It focuses on three quality drivers as priority areas for action and specific improvement interventions: care which is safe, clinically effective and person-centred.
Primary Care is at the heart of the NHS in Scotland and will be central to delivering these quality improvements. Indeed, for many patients it is the NHS. It accounts for around 90 per cent of all patient contact and, as the gateway to secondary care, is both the start and the end point of most patient journeys. It provides the key elements of coverage, continuity and effective risk management.
Primary Care will contribute in many different ways to making Scotland a world leader in healthcare. There is however a need to be clear about where to focus efforts. Intensive engagement with Primary Care practitioners across Scotland has helped us identify clear priorities for action and a strategic vision for Primary Care. Over the next five years:
- Care will be increasingly integrated, provided in a joined up way to meet the needs of the whole person;
- The people of Scotland will be increasingly empowered to play a full part in the management of their health;
- Care will be clinically effective and safe, delivered in the most appropriate way, within clear, agreed pathways; and
- Primary Care will play a full part in helping the healthcare system as a whole make the best use of scarce public resources.
The Primary Care workforce is the key to delivering these priorities. A core element of that vision is therefore that:
- The energy, creativity and dedication of those in Primary Care will be nurtured and released for the benefit of patients.
Nicola Sturgeon, MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing