Foreword - Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing
NHSScotland aims to deliver the highest quality healthcare services and, through this, to ensure that NHSScotland is recognised by the people of Scotland as amongst the best in the world. The achievement of this aim is dependent on having a committed, dedicated and healthy workforce, working in a safe environment
NHSScotland has a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of the population, both as a significant employer and as a provider of health services, including occupational health services, across Scotland's communities. NHSScotland aims to be an exemplar employer which values its staff and cares about their health and safety, recognising that this can deliver many benefits.
I welcome this new Occupational Health and Safety Strategic Framework. It replaces the previous strategy, which is now over 11 years old and allows us to take account of developments since that time which impact upon the occupational health and safety of NHSScotland staff - most notably the Healthcare Quality Strategy, the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and progress with governance arrangements, in particular the Staff Governance Standard. Taking a lead from the Quality Strategy, the framework takes a person-centred, rather than a service-based, approach to looking at the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, and identifies aims, priorities and actions which will deliver improvements for individuals.
This strategic framework provides an opportunity for NHSScotland Boards to confirm their commitment to be exemplar employers who value their staff and have integrated strategies for ensuring a safe and healthy working environment, including occupational health and safety policies and services. Successful implementation will help to reduce the numbers of staff who suffer from work-related injury or illness, promote positive health and wellbeing - and ultimately deliver better quality patient care.
I am grateful to the Occupational Health and Safety Strategic Forum for producing this strategic framework, and for agreeing to take a lead in overseeing its implementation and monitoring progress.
The responsibility for occupational health and safety requires good leadership, with everyone in NHSScotland - Board members, managers, staff, supported by occupational health and safety specialists - having a role to play. All have a responsibility for implementing this framework and ensuring that its aims and priorities are reflected in plans, strategies and practices within each organisation.
Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing