NHS reform progressing well and patient satisfaction is high.
Responding to Audit Scotland’s annual report on Scotland’s NHS, Health Secretary Shona Robison said:
“The NHS is built on the commitment and dedication of its workforce and I am pleased that this Audit Scotland report recognises the tremendous work being done every day by clinicians and staff right across Scotland.
“It is also encouraging to see recognition of the innovative work being done to tackle delayed discharge, integrate health and social care and embed realistic medicine. In particular, the report highlights patient satisfaction at an all-time high, with 90% of in-patients reporting positive experiences during treatment.
“Under this administration there have been significant improvements in Scotland’s health system, driven by our clear vision for the future of the NHS in Scotland. Life expectancy is rising, our A&E departments have outperformed the rest of the UK for over two and a half years, and survival rates for chronic conditions such as heart disease have improved.
“We have long been realistic about the challenges for the NHS and the need for change. Alongside record investment of over £13 billion, including almost half a billion pounds of NHS spending being invested in social care services alone, we are looking at new ways of delivering services that meet the changing needs of people across Scotland. Over £8 billion that was previously managed separately by Health Boards and Councils is now managed jointly by Health and Social Care Partnerships, enabling local systems to ensure people have access to the right care at the right time in the right place, and are supported to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.
“This investment is backed by a huge rise in staffing levels – up nearly 12,000 in the last decade – including significantly increased investment in GP services since 2007. Today’s report recognises the importance of negotiating a new contract for GPs which will deliver a strengthened and clarified role for general practitioners and ensure a service to patients that is fair and accessible to all.
“We’re working to develop a medium term financial framework, within the context of the budget settlement that the Scottish Government receives. This will be to outline the broad direction for the NHS and care services to meet the changing needs of the people of Scotland, including shifting the balance of care towards community health services.
“Our new National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan is setting out how we will work with partners to secure sustainable NHS staffing for the future. The initial plan will be in place by early 2018 however I expect it to continually change and develop in line with shifting demand and this is also something we will work with Audit Scotland on.
“We are committed to ensuring patient experience is at the forefront of our NHS which is why I announced £50 million to improve waiting times earlier this year and set up an expert group to reduce patient waiting times and improve how elective services are managed.
“It’s important to stress however that improving the nation’s health for the long term requires more than acute care – there’s simply no quick fix. That is why this government has introduced a range of measures designed to make Scots healthier for the long run, be it introducing the Baby Box, launching a new strategy to tackle obesity, and tackling Scotland’s troubled relationship with alcohol. Ultimately, our work across Government will ensure the people of Scotland can continue to look forward to a healthier future.”
Holly Gilfether 0131 244 2954
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