Foreword by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
Improving people's health and wellbeing is a priority for health ministers across the international community.
Optimising health and wellbeing is not, however, the sole prerogative of health and social care professionals. Many of the determinants of health and wellbeing lie outside the direct influence of our NHS staff and system and go beyond the absence of illness and disease. Interventions from health and social care systems are only part of the story.
Our Health and Social Care Delivery Plan and Transforming Primary Care approach make clear commitments to prioritising prevention and early intervention. Many of the problems for which people seek help from GPs, clinics and emergency departments across Scotland could have been prevented if different lifestyle choices had been made, or earlier advice, support and interventions had been provided by the right health or care professional. We must now focus as much attention and energy on targeted approaches to prevention and early intervention as we do on treatment of ill health. The Active and Independent Living Programme ( AILP) provides a vehicle for achieving measurable improvements in this approach.
While the full potential of the allied health professions ( AHPs) in delivering improvements for individuals, services and systems has yet to be fully realised, I am hugely encouraged by achievements stemming from the AHP National Delivery Plan. AHPs have delivered whole-system redesign of musculoskeletal services, ensured connectivity with mental health and return-to-work pathways, led a national multi-agency approach to falls prevention, and significantly improved access to children's therapy services through partnerships with teachers, education teams and parents.
I therefore believe that AILP can succeed in its bold ambition to co-create wellbeing with the people of Scotland. I believe it will support the evolution of sustainable services for people who need them now and in the future. It is a truly cross-cutting programme that wholeheartedly embraces the contribution of all organisations, agencies, sectors and people who use AHP services towards the generation of a thriving Scotland. I commend AILP and encourage you all to get involved - and there is nowhere better to start than with our own health and wellbeing.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Scottish Government
Email: Julie Townsend
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House