Part 01: Foreword
NHSScotland is an enormous force for good across Scotland; as well as requiring the highest levels of professionalism and competency in its management and delivery of services, it is also one of our public bodies with which everyone in our country feels a personal relationship and shares a commitment to its success. It is, alongside other public bodies and our partners, a crucial contributor to achieving our Priorities for Government; it directly impacts on reducing inequalities as well as providing jobs and growth in our local economies.
In addition, it is crucial that NHSScotland continues to improve its already high-quality services ensuring patients and their carers get the best possible outcomes. However, in order to do this in times of financial, demographic and other pressures, NHSScotland must also ensure that it provides the best possible value for money and reassure all of its users, staff and the wider public that it is spending your money wisely and effectively. This supports our wider commitment to developing, preserving and reforming the public sector.
That is why I am delighted to introduce the latest Annual Report from the Scottish Government Health Directorate's Quality and Efficiency Support Team (QuEST). In this and its previous two reports, QuEST highlights the excellent work being done by NHS Boards to maximise the value of the resources they receive. And the figures are not small; in the last five years, NHS Boards have saved over £1.5bn, all of which has been reinvested in the delivery of services. Those savings are paying for more clinical staff, improved facilities and, ultimately, better outcomes for the people we serve.
The administrative and managerial costs of delivering NHSScotland are some of the lowest in the world, comparing extremely favourably with other public systems and with the private sector. What many of the case studies in this report show is the importance of the true 'multidisciplinary team' that delivers the NHS; after all, the doctors, nurses and physiotherapists cannot provide their expert care if their equipment and buildings are not maintained and their salaries are not paid.
I welcome all of the excellent work highlighted in this report and commend the good practice NHSScotland continues to demonstrate. Our commitment to ensuring the lessons learned are spread widely will be taken forward by a future programme of activity where those things that are proven to improve the quality of outcomes as well as deliver greater efficiencies will be rolled out across NHSScotland. I look forward to sharing future successes with you.
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport